|Stephen Haladyna sealed the victory at the free throw line in overtime
MEDFORD – The Tufts University Jumbos used a second-half comeback to overcome the Colby College Mules in overtime, 88-81, in NESCAC men's basketball action on Friday evening at Cousens Gym.
Tufts improves to 12-11 overall and 3-6 in the NESCAC. Colby falls to 13-10 (3-6).
The Jumbos scored the first points of the overtime session on a pair of free throws by first-year center Hunter Sabety (Oceanside, NY).
Junior guard Connor O'Neil (Freeport, ME) answered back for Colby with a three-pointer to give the Mules the lead at 76-75. Senior guard Oliver Cohen's (Lower Merion, PA) layup then gave Tufts the lead for good, 77-76, with 4:07 remaining in the OT period.
The Tufts lead moved to three on a jump shot by senior guard Kwame Firempong (Los Angeles, CA) and later four points on a layup from Sabety.
Colby did get within one with 58 seconds remaining on a three-pointer by junior guard Shane Rogers (Newburgh, NY), but on the other side of the court Sabety scored off a feed from Cohen to put Tufts back up by three. Sophomore guard Stephen Haladyna (South Hamilton, MA) helped seal the victory for the Jumbos, making four free throws down the stretch.
The Mules had jumped out to a 10-point advantage less than three minutes into the second half, 41-31, after they led 35-28 at halftime. Tufts went on a 14-5 run over the next five minutes to tie the game, 45-45. The game then saw ties at 49, 51, 56, 58 and 60.
Colby scored the next six points on free throws by sophomore center Chris Hudnut (Chevy Chase, MD), a layup by sophomore guard Luke Westman (Newton, MA) and a jumper by Hudnut. The Mules led 66-60 with 4:46 to play.
At the 1:14 mark, Colby was ahead 73-69. Sabety scored next for Tufts on an alley-oop dunk assisted by Cohen. Then with 36 seconds remaining, Sabety was fouled and converted two free throws.
The game saw 11 ties, including six in the second half.
Tufts finished with four double-digit scorers, paced by Sabety's 23 points on 9 for 12 shooting. He was 5 of 7 at the charity stripe and also grabbed 10 rebounds. Ben Ferris added 18 points and 10 rebounds while both Haladyna and Firempong checked in with 15 points.
Hudnut led the Mules with 24 points, going 8 for 12 from the field. Westman finished with 22 points on 9 of 11 shooting. He also added five assists.
Colby shot 58-percent (29/50) in the game and Tufts was 49.2-percent (29/59) from the field. The Mules won the rebounding battle, 30-28.
Tufts hosts Bowdoin on Saturday afternoon at 4 pm in the final NESCAC contest of the regular season. Colby travels to Bates for a 4pm tilt on Saturday.