Saint Michael's Edges Men's Basketball 82-81 in OT

branislav vujadinovic

THE BASICS:

- Score: Saint Michael's 82, Assumption 81

- Record: Assumption (4-3, 0-2 NE10), Saint Michael's (3-3, 1-3 NE10)

- Location: Worcester, Mass. (Laska Gym)

- The Lead: Assumption let a three-point lead slip away in the final 30 seconds of overtime, and the Hounds' potential game-winning three at the buzzer was released just late as Saint Michael's held on for an 82-81 victory on Wednesday evening in a tight conference battle.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- Saint Michael's jumped out to a 14-9 lead in the opening five minutes of the contest. Michael Speight (Morningside, Md. / Wise / Canterbury) ended the run with a layup, which started an 11-2 run for the Hounds to give them a 20-16 lead at 11:35. However, four straight points evened the score at 20 midway through the half. Branislav Vujadinovic (Belgrade, Serbia / St. Joseph) connected on a three and Assumption scored nine straight for a 29-20 lead with 5:47 left. The Hounds then led by nine again just over a minute later and the teams traded baskets during the remainder of the half for a 35-27 lead.

- A 6-0 run early in the second extended the Assumption advantage to 43-31 at 17:06, however, a 12-4 run by Saint Michael's trimmed it to just four, 47-43. The teams traded baskets over the next ten minutes, with the Hounds never letting their lead slip below two points.

- Cal Connelly (Rochester, N.H. / Spaulding / Tilton) made a pair of three throws for a 70-66 lead with 4:13 left, before the Purple Knights scored seven straight to grab a 72-70 lead with three minutes remaining. The Hounds took back the lead 74-72 on a Matthew Kelly (North Potomac, Md. / Quince Orchard) shot, but Levi Holmes III tied it up with 30 seconds left. Assumption held for the final shot and Vujadinovic's layup was just off the mark, sending the game to overtime.

- The Purple Knights took a 78-74 lead early, but the Hounds tied it up and Kelly connected on a three for the 81-78 lead with 1:13 remaining. A turnover led to a Holmes III jumper, cutting it to one and another mid-range jumper from Holmes III gave them an 82-81 lead with just four seconds left. Assumption's final play went to Speight in the corner and he swished the three, but the ball was still in his hand when the final buzzer sounded, giving Saint Michael's the win.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:  

- Assumption shot 50.8 percent from the floor but made just 6 of 24 three-point attempts and went 15-for-21 from the charity strip. Saint Michael's made 40.6 percent of its shots overall and was 8 of 24 from downtown while going 18-for-20 from the free throw line. The Purple Knights had a 43-29 rebounding advantage.

- Connelly scored a career-best 20 points with five rebounds, two assists and two blocks while Kelly added 15 points, two assists and two blocks. Speight was in double figures with 14 points, two boards and one steal, alongside Vujadinovic who had 12 points, five rebounds, two steals and two assists.

-  Derek Cheatom had 22 points, while Eli DiGrande added 17 points, 14 rebounds and two steals. Holmes III finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and two assists.

UP NEXT:

- Assumption returns to action on Saturday when the Hounds host Southern New Hampshire at 3:30 p.m.

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