GLASSBORO, N.J. – The Lehman College men's basketball team staged an improbable rally to win the season opener over Neumann (Penn.) University, 78-74, in double overtime, in the first round of the Rowan University Invitational. The game was the season opener for both programs.
The Lightning rallied from behind to tie the score at the end of the second half, as well as the end of the first overtime.
In the second overtime, junior guard Olando Minott (Bronx, N.Y./Samuel Gompers) made a steal and breakaway layup to give Lehman a 74-72 lead, before Neumann tied the score at 74 apiece. Junior forward Jerrome Jones (Bronx, N.Y./Mt. Vernon) responded with a layup, on an assist from freshman guard Andrew Utate (Washington Heights, N.Y./Mt. St. Michael's), as Lehman re-took the lead. Senior swingman Jonathan Greenfield (Hartford, Conn./Windsor) later made a pair of free throws for the 78-74 final score. Greenfield then sealed the win with a block of a three-point attempt in the waning seconds.
To get to that point, in the first overtime, Neumann took a 70-64 lead with 1:47 to play, before Jones hit a three-pointer to bring Lehman back to within three points. Greenfield added a layup, before a pair of Neumann free throws brought the lead to three points. Enter junior forward Chaun Miller (Brooklyn, N.Y./Eleanor Roosevelt), who nailed a dramatic 28-foot three-pointer as time expired to send the game to the second overtime.
Back in regulation, Jones made a free throw with six seconds remaining in the second half to send the game into the original overtime. His free throw capped a furious comeback for Lehman, who trailed by five points with 2:12 to play in the second half. Greenfield had cut the lead to just one point with a pair of free throws with 32 seconds remaining.
For the game, Jones led all scorers with 22 points, while Greenfield was right behind with 21. Miller recorded Lehman's sole double-double, with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
With the win, Lehman advances to the Championship Game of the Rowan University Invitational, and will face the hosts, who defeated Penn State – Brandywine, 107-69, in the other first round game. Tomorrow's title game tips off at 2:00 p.m.