January 28, 2012

Lyndon tops New England in double-overtime thriller

HENNIKER, N.H. – Devyn Baranauskas (Waterbury, Conn.) hit a last second three-pointer at the end of double-overtime to propel Lyndon past New England 99-98.

The first half was a closely contested period as neither team led by more than five at one point the entire way. NEC builtd a five-point lead midway through the half on a 4-0 run capped off by an  Abdirahman Mohamed layup. Mohamed led all scorers in the period with 10 points. After a late surge in the final four minutes, Lyndon was able to take the lead going into halftime.

The excitement began late in the second half after the Pilgrims had trailed most of the period, when with 1:48 remaining in regulation, Mohamed started an 8-3 run which propelled the game into overtime. Mohamed capped the run with about 10 seconds left when he hit a three to tie the game at 77. Ryan Schmitz stopped  Lyndon's chances to win the game in regulation when he came up with a crucial steal at half court with three seconds remaining.

The first overtime period consisted of three separate five-point leads by the Hornets. But once again, the Pilgrims crawled back into it with 48 seconds to play, and for a second time, Mohamed sank a three pointer with 12 seconds remaining to force the game into a second overtime.

With 1:16  to play in the game, Baranauskas hit a jumper to tie the score at 96-96, which was the 11th time the teams were knotted up. For the third and final time with 13 seconds left, Mohamed came up big for the Pilgrims as he sank a jumper on the left side of the free-throw stripe.

After a time out by Lyndon State, Baranauskas dribble the ball up the floor. After finding only great defense by the Pilgrims, he was force to take a last second shot from about five feet beyond the three point line. As the buzzer sounded, the ball fell through the bottom of the net and the Hornets came away with the victory.

Baranauskas finshed with 28 points, eight rebounds, four assists and one steals while Jason Gray (East Thetford, Vt.,) added 16 points, 10 rebounds and one assist. Ben Sackett (Lyndonville, Vt.) had 23 point, including 15 from beyond the three-point arc, and seven rebounds.

The Pilgrims offense was led by Mohamed's game-high 29 points and 10 rebounds. Steven Cronin added 25 points on 11-17 shooting. He also chipped in three assists. Jonathan Byrnes dropped eight points and grabbed 13 boards.