WORCESTER, MASS. - February 9, 2008 – Jamaal Gibbs’ (Norwalk, Conn.) 60-foot shot as time expired in the second overtime lifted the Springfield College men’s basketball team to a dramatic 90-87 victory over Clark University in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game at the Kneller Athletic Center on Saturday afternoon.
Springfield hit three buzzer-beaters in this thrilling contest, one by junior guard Dan White (Troy, N.Y.) in regulation, a three-pointer to tie it at 71-all; a two-pointer by Gibbs as the first overtime expired to make it 79-all; followed by Gibbs' 60-footer (we later measured it) in the second overtime to win it.
With the victory, Springfield (9-11, 4-4 NEWMAC) remains tied for third place in the conference. Clark (10-11, 5-4 NEWMAC), which dropped its second straight conference game, is currently second in the league. Springfield Head Coach Charlie Brock, now in his 10th year at SC, recorded his 149th victory at SC with the win. He has 378 career victories overall.
Gregg Daly (Farmington, Conn.) was sensational as he led all scorers with a career-high 31 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for Springfield, while Gibbs and Pat Crean (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) each added 18 points. Daly's previous career high was 26 points in an 89-83 overtime victory at SC's Blake Arena over Clark on Jan. 27, 2007.
Pat Landers (Worcester, Mass.) had 16 points to lead Clark. Mark Alexander (Providence, R.I.) scored 15 points and Byron Roberts (New Haven, Conn.) and Jack Minister (Manchester, England) finished with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Peter Normandin (Westminster, Mass.) had a team-high nine rebounds.
Up by one, Gibbs connected on one-of-two at the charity stripe for a two point edge, 87-85, with 19 seconds remaining in the second overtime. Minister then slashed to the basket with a right-side lay-up to knot the score, 87-87, for the seventh time in the game with 3.7 remaining. Following an inbound pass, Gibbs raced down the right-side and hurled the ball just inside the half-court line and swished his second-game winning shot in the past two games as time expired.
Trailing by six (71-77) in the first extra session, Slader Lyell (Portsmouth, R.I.) drained a three-pointer to bring the game within 74-77 with 1:57 on the clock and then hit one-of-two at the line just 21 seconds later for a two-point game (75-77). On the ensuing possession, Lyell stole the ball and missed a fast-break lay-up, but Pat Ochoa’s (Springfield, Mass.) put-back tied it up, 77-77, at the 1:16 mark. Springfield could have taken the lead, but Chaz Burrell (Idaho Springs, Colo.) missed a pair at the stripe with 46 seconds remaining. That left the door open for Alexander’s inside jumper for a 79-77 advantage with 26 ticks on the clock. However, Gibbs struck again as he sunk another key basket on a mid-range jumper from the left baselineas time ran out to send the game into double-OT.
Clark let an 18-point second half lead (53-35) slip away in the final 10 minutes of regulation. Springfield’s Daly and Gibbs took over as they combined for 11 of the next 13 points to bring the Pride within 46-55 at 8:34. Over the next 5:06, Springfield made four trips to the line, converting on 8-of-8 for a five point deficit (58-63). Daly’s basket snapped a 1:06 scoring drought to make it a three-point game with 2:23 remaining. After Clark pushed its lead back up to seven (67-60), Springfield went on a 6-2 run highlighted by Daly’s conventional three-point play to trail by one (68-69) with 11 seconds remaining. Landers sank two freebies on the next possession to stretch Clark’s lead to three (71-68), but White took advantage of a Gibbs double team and knocked down a baseline three with two ticks left in regulation to extend the game.
Springfield opened the game on a 16-4 run capped by Daly’s jumper to take a 12-point lead (19-7) at the 13:17 mark. However, Clark charged back with a 17-2 run capped by Roberts trifecta sandwiched between a bucket and three-pointer from Landers to give the Cougars their first lead (24-21) of the day at 6:48.
SC went on a run of its own outscoring Clark, 6-0, for a 27-24 advantage, but Ochoa’s hoop sliced the margin to within one (26-27) with 4:31 remaining. Neither team scored over the next 3:30, until Clark scored the final eight points of the half for a 34-27 advantage headed into the locker room.
Springfield will travel to take on WPI on Wednesday at 7:00 pm, looking to extend its winning steak to three games.