Canton, NY - Playing at SUNY Canton for the second time in less than 24 hours, the Northern Vermont University-Lyndon men's basketball team battled the host Roos toe to toe for 50 minutes before coming up just short, 91-88, in double overtime on Saturday afternoon. With the win Canton closes its regular season at 13-12 overall and 9-5 in North Atlantic Conference play. The Hornets fall to 3-21, and 1-12 in conference.
Canton scored on its first three possessions to jump out to an early 6-0 lead. Ricky Shuford (Prattville, AL) then connected on a three-pointer to get Lyndon on the board. Roo baskets from Andrew Fitch and Robert Holliday Jr. move Canton in front 10-3, for what would prove to be the largest Roo lead of the contest. The Hornets regrouped at that point, and climbed their way back into the contest, eventually tying the score at 35-35 on a Colby Bucknam (Brunswick, ME) layup with 1:28 to go in the opening half. Canton's Jordan Stewart and Lyndon's Damon Denteh (Jamiaca, NY) then traded three-pointers to send the teams into halftime ties at 38.
Denteh scored on the opening posession of the second half to give the Hornets their first lead of the game. The two teams then went back and forth over the next several minutes, with neither able to grab more than a three point advantage. With Canton holding a 53-51 lead, Lyndon went on a 9-0 run, capped by a pair of free throws from Corey Frost (Hamden, CT), to give the Hornets a 60-53 lead with 7:55 to go. Lyndon still led by six, 64-58, following a Dylan Torello (Port St. Lucie, FL) layup at the 6:12 mark. The Hornets came up empty on their next five possessions, however, as two turnovers and two missed layups allowed Canton to capitalize and grab a 66-64 advantage with 4:37 to go in regulation.
CJ Jimmy (Modesto, CA) tied things with a pari of free throws, and a Denteh three gave Lyndon the lead back. Holliday then connected on a three for Canton, but Shuford's jumper put Lyndon in front, 71-69, with 2:19 remaining. Stewart knocked down a jumper to tie things with 45 seconds to go and neither team was able to convert in the final seconds, sending the game to overtime.
the teams battled back and forth in the first extra session, with Jahleel Gabriel (Springfield, MA) converting a jumper to put the Hornets in front, 77-76, with 1:40 remaining. Denteh added a free throw to make it a two-point game, but Holliday answered to tie things again with 1:05 to go and again neither team was able to score in the final seconds.
The second extra session followed the same pattern, with both teams battling back and forth. Holliday put Canton in front, 87-85, with a basket and free throw at the 1:25 mark. Lyndon failed to score on their next possession, but appeared to have a defensice stop and a shot clock violation on Canton's next possession. However after a second was put back on the clock, Canton missed a desperation three but Fitch's follow-up basket put the Roos up four, 89-85, with 28 seconds left. Shuford's three cut the margin to one, but Brandon Adkisson made two free throws and two Lyndon three-pointers were off the mark as the game ended.
All five Canton starters reached double figure, with Adkisson leading the way with 20 points. Fitch posted 18 points, 19 rebounds, and eight blocked shots and Joseph Werner chipped in with 16 points. Holliday and Stewart added 13 and 11 points respectively. Denteh and Shuford were Lyndon's only double figure scorers, finishing with 27 and 24 points. Shuford completed the double double by pulling down ten rebounds and Gabriel added nine boards.
The Hornets will close out the season on Tuesday evening when they host NVU-Johnson on Senior Night. Tip-off is set for 5:30 pm. Hornet seniors Frost, Jimmy, and Kevin Love (Bristol, CT) will be recognized before the game.
All photos courtesy of SUNY Canton Athletics.