Center Valley, PA (December 4, 2010) – Senior Brian Hunter scored a career-high 34 points on 15-of-27 shooting but the Delaware Valley College men's basketball shot 46.2 percent from three-point land and shocked the DeSales University men's basketball team, 82-79, in overtime on Saturday afternoon in Freedom Conference action.
There wasn't a person in the gym on Saturday that could have stopped Hunter but the high percentage three-point shooting of the Aggies (3-3, 2-0 Freedom) out-scored Hunter and the Bulldogs (4-2, 0-2 Freedom) as Jason Goldheimer's three from the left corner with 2.3 seconds left in overtime gave DVC its 82-79 winning final score as a desperation three from Hunter at the buzzer bounced off the front rim as time expired.
The loss snaps a nine-game winning streak at home for DeSales and the win is the first in Billera Hall for the Aggies since January, 1992. DSU owned the glass on Saturday, out-rebounding DVC, 47-31, but a 12-for-26 effort from three-point land from Delaware Valley was the ultimate answer as the Aggies were able to shoot themselves past the Bulldogs.
DSU started slowly shooting just 38.5 percent from the field in the opening half and trailing by as many as 13 points in the first stanza before a 9-0 run late in the half cut the deficit to four points before a three-pointer from Michael Colacci made it a seven-point game at the break.
A back-and-forth start to the second half saw DVC pull away mid-way thru extending a five-point lead into a 16-point advantage via a 13-4 run over a four-minute span. Nathan Bollinger led the way with six points during the run as Del. Val. hit a three-pointer, finished a three-point play, and hit three foul shots after being fouled on a three-point attempt during the run.
Delaware Valley continued to lead by 14 points at the 10:21 mark when DeSales began its comeback. The Bulldogs used a 17-4 run over the next five minutes to pull within one point on a three-pointer from the corner by freshman Mike Coleman. Four different Bulldogs scored led by Hunter's five points.
The Aggies answered with a free throw and a jumper from James Jones but Hunter made good on a running one-hander and Zanneo hit two free throws over the next two minutes to tie the score at 67 with 2:34 remaining. A DVC miss was followed by a Bulldog turnover and foul. Goldheimer went to the line for a 1-and-1 opportunity but missed the front end. DVC however tracked down the rebound and got a third chance on another offensive board of a three-point miss from Bollinger and this time Jones capitalized with a lay-up.
A DSU timeout was followed by an easy lay-up from junior Jamey Bercier off a gorgeous feed from Hunter and the score was re-tied at 69. This time DVC got just one chance to re-take the lead but a jumper from Jeremy Beckett was off the mark and junior Bob Zanneo pulled down a tough rebound.
After another DeSales timeout with exactly 35 second left, the Aggies came out in a trapping, double-teaming defense that forced a second DSU timeout. DVC stayed in the defense, forcing the ball out of Hunter's hands and eventually the ball was worked around to sophomore Brian Kerwin in the right corner for a good look at a three but the shot was off the mark and Jones gathered the rebound as Delaware Valley called timeout.
The referees put 1.3 seconds back on the clock, giving the Aggies 2.1 ticks to get off a last-second game-winner but a long heave was off the front rim as time expired.
In the overtime period, Bollinger was lost on the opening tip and he canned a three-pointer immediately staking the Aggies to a three-point lead. One more Aggie free throw on the next possession made it a four-point game when Hunter took over on the offensive end.
He hit a driving floater in the lane and followed that with a long three-pointer giving DeSales its first lead since the score was 2-0 to start the game at 74-73. Bollinger, however, was fouled shooting a jumper on the next possession and made one freebie re-tying the game before his second free throw was pulled down by Chris Ellis who laid it in for a 76-74 Aggie lead.
Hunter again answered with another driving lay-up to tie the game at 76 with three minutes left. One free throw by the Aggies over the next 1:43 gave the visitor's a 77-76 lead before Coleman was inches away of getting a chance at a three-point play but his lay-up rolled out and he was instead sent to the line for two foul shots. He hit the first, but missed the second as the game was deadlocked at 77.
After an Aggie timeout, Bollinger made good on another jumper, but Hunter refused to be denied as his fade away jumper was nothing but cotton, tying the game at 79 with 33 seconds left. DVC took a 30-second timeout and spread the floor for Jones, who dribbled the left-side of the lane, tossed the ball out to Goldheimer who was clutch with a three-pointer from the left baseline giving DVC the lead and eventually the win after Hunter's desperation three fell short.
The 34 points mark the third time in six games this season that Hunter has set a new career-high, surpassing the 30 points he scored in the win over Alvernia earlier in the season. He played 43 of a possible 45 minutes, grabbed six rebounds, and also had six assists in the heart-breaking loss.
Zanneo added 15 points and pulled down a career-high nine rebounds, while Bercier recorded his first career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Coleman and fellow freshman Drew Wilcox also played well off the bench with nine total points.
Bollinger, who entered the game averaging just 7.4 points and shooting just 21.4 percent (3-for-14) from three-point land, found his stroke on the bus ride down from Doylestown, PA as he finished with a team-high 25 points on 5-of-7 shooting downtown.
Ellis added 15 points, including a huge offensive rebound and put-back in overtime, and Jones tallied 13 points and five assists. Beckett finished with six points and pulled down 11 boards, while Goldheimer added nine points. Phil Jackson also played well for the Aggies with nine points and six assists in just 19 minutes of action.
The Bulldogs will look to re-group and return to action on Wednesday, December 8th when they host Catholic University in a non-conference game beginning at 7:00 pm.