MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - The Wheaton College men's basketball team concluded the Herb Kenny Tip Off Tournament (Wesleyan University) Saturday afternoon with a thrilling game against Southern Maine that went to five overtime periods. The Huskies pulled out the victory defeating the Lyons 131-125.
Wheaton senior Timothy Berry ended the contest with a career-high 27 points, knocking down 9-of-14 from the floor and 7-of-9 from the free-throw line. Berry also collected six rebounds and two blocks. Sophomore Duaka Ekwensi also ended the evening with a career-high in points, netting 20 on a 9-12 performance. Senior Quinton Dale finished with a career-high 18 rebounds, while knocking down 16 points for his third consecutive double-double of the season. Dale also earned a game-high five blocks. Ryan Fogarty concluded the game with a season-high 22 points, while Liam Bruno and Matt Allegrezza scored 13 and 10 respectively.
James Starks III netted a game-high 30 points for the Huskies, finishing 11-14 from the charity stripe and 9-20 from the floor. The forward also pulled down a team-high 18 rebounds and five blocks. Zach Leal scored 21 in the victory, while Christian McCue had 17 and Jacob Littlefield and Jalen Lincoln each had 15.
Each team held their largest lead of the game, eight points, in the first half before trading possession of the lead 14 times, while tying the game 24.
Despite falling behind early, Wheaton came back to win the first half, 40-37, on 11 points from Berry. After trailing 5-0 just over a minute in, the Lyons started to chip away at the deficit with baskets from Berry, David Carbonello and Ekwensi, eventually knotting the game at 10-10 with 15:11 on the clock. A layup by Ekwensi with 6:25 left until the half earned Wheaton its first lead of the contest.
The Huskies battled back in the second half, recapturing the lead on back-to-back free-throws from McCue just over a minute in. Southern Maine held onto the lead until the 6:18 mark when Ekwensi laid other one in. The teams battled for every point down the stretch, with neither team holding more than a three point lead the rest of the way. Trailing 84-81 with time about to expire, Fogarty threw up a last second three pointer that found nothing but net, sending the game into overtime.
Leal opened the scoring in the first overtime period, just to have the Huskie lead erased by a three-pointer from Berry. Lincoln responded with a three of his own for Southern Maine, which was countered by an untraditional three-point play by Berry. The two sides continued to match each other throughout the remaining two minutes.
Fogarty broke the tie to start the second overtime with a layup a minute in. Wheaton held the lead the entire period until a three-pointer from McMillian with just five seconds remaining tied the game at 104-104, sending the game into yet another overtime.
The fourth overtime was much like the second with the teams matching each other basket for basket. With several key players, who fouled out, sitting on the bench for both teams the Huskies found a way to pull away to capture the victory.
"It was a great game," said head coach Brian Walmsley. "The team put in great effort. I'm so proud of our guys despite loss. We learned a lot and showed great character."
Wheaton returns to the court on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 6 p.m. in Emerson Gymnasium against Roger Williams.