Dutchmen Outlast Falcons In Overtime Battle, 84-82
Messiah's Brad Bolen went 4-for-4 from the charity stripe, but the Falcons couldn't overtake the Blue Jays in overtime, resulting in an 82-84 loss.
By Bryn Swartz, GoMessiah.com reporter
Annville, PA - The Messiah Falcons (2-3, 0-1) started off the season with a pair of dominant victories but are now riding a three-game losing streak, following a disappointing 84-82 loss in overtime to Lebanon Valley College (4-1, 1-0).
Despite leading 72-65 with just 2:26 to play, the Falcons saw their lead slip away, and headed into overtime after LVC's Cameron Prince drilled a three pointer to tie the game with nine seconds remaining. The Falcons trailed early in overtime, ran into foul trouble, and came within a single shot of forcing a second overtime.
"The first place I look is myself," said Messiah's head basketball coach, Rick Van Pelt. "I feel like I didn't do a real good job down the stretch for our team and I'm disappointed in myself. I thought our guys battled and did a lot of good things. It's tough on the road. You have to overcome the things that go against you on the road and we weren't able to overcome those things."
The Falcons ran into some early foul trouble by committing seven in the first seven minutes of the game. They trailed 20-13 midway through the first half but rallied to take a 24-22 lead, highlighted by a trio of three pointers: two by freshman Zach Hoy and one from sophomore Taylor Groff. Despite the foul problems, the Falcons took a 34-33 lead into halftime.
"We were scrambling right from the get-go as far as foul trouble, and that's a product of the way they play," Van Pelt said. "They do a good job of getting themselves to the foul line."
A back-and-forth second half featured four lead changes. The Falcons led 44-39 early in the second half but soon trailed 47-44. They rallied to regain the lead and extended it to 62-53 with under nine minutes remaining in the game. But the Falcons collected just a single bucket in the last six minutes of the game - a three pointer by junior Derek Mosley - and a dramatic comeback by LVC forced overtime.
In overtime, the Falcons trailed early and suffered a big blow when sophomore David Fernandez fouled out with 3:12 remaining. Classmate Brad Bolen also fouled out with 31 seconds remaining in overtime, and although a Derek Mosley three-pointer pulled the Falcons within one in the final seconds, the Dutchmen pulled out an 84-82 win.
The loss dropped the Falcons to 2-3, as well as 0-1 in the conference. For the Falcons, Derek Mosley led the scoring with 20 points, including an impressive 4-of-7 on three pointers, and rebounding, with eight. Fernandez scored 17, to go with six rebounds, five assists, and two blocks (one of which was highlight reel-worthy). Hoy added 15 points and Bolen scored 14.
In the game, the Falcons shot just 15 foul shots, compared to 39 by Lebanon Valley College. "We got beat by 2 and they made 17 more foul shots than us," Van Pelt said. "We've got to get to the foul line."
As a team, the Falcons attempted 28 three pointers, connecting on 11 of them. "I was a little disappointed that we weren't attacking," Van Pelt said. "We didn't prepare our guys enough for their style of play at the defensive end. They're going to leave you open. So our guys were open and they shot it. We need to be more patient and we need to attack the basket."
Four players from LVC topped 10 points, led by Prince's 23, including the game-tying three-pointer in the closing seconds of the second half. LVC improved to 4-1 with the victory.
"We've just got to keep working and continue to develop," Van Pelt said. "We're pretty young and we're playing different combinations. We've just got to keep getting better every day and plowing ahead. We've got to get some guys healthy. It's been tough to practice and we've had guys playing who are sick as well."
The Falcons' next game is at Elizabethtown College (1-4, 0-1) on Saturday, December 3rd at 4:00 p.m. They are in the middle of an eight-game stretch in which just one of their games is at home.
"E-Town's a big game for us now," Van Pelt said. "Playing two games on the road at the beginning of the season; we love this setup. We felt like if we played well, we could pick up two road wins in the first half and really set ourselves up nice going into the second half. This one slipped away from us so we've got to bounce back and go to E-Town and get one."