ITHACA, NY – Six players scored in double figures as the University of Rochester men's basketball team opened the 2016-17 season with a 104-94 overtime victory over Ithaca College on Tuesday evening at Ben Light Gymnasium.
Senior Sam Borst-Smith scored 21 points, classmate Mack Montague added 20 while sophomore Jacob Wittig had 10 points and a career high 10 assists for his first career double-double. Junior Tucker Knox added 16 points, while sophomore Ryan Clamage had 15 and senior Zack Ayers chipped in 13 for the Yellowjackets (1-0)
Ithaca (0-1) was led by Marc Chasin who poured in a game high 32 points, making five 3-pointers while three other Bombers, Matt Flood (13), Gabe Perez-Ronchetta (12) and Carroll Rich (10) all had double-digit points.
With Rochester trailing by three in the closing minute, Borst-Smith hit an old-fashioned three point play to tie the score at 90 with 45 seconds on the clock. After an Ithaca missed three pointer, Borst-Smith again drove the lane and made a layup, but the shot was waved off as he was fouled prior to shooting, sending the senior to the line for a 1-and-1 chance with six seconds left. The first shot rimmed out and Ithaca grabbed the rebound, but the buzzer beating attempt by Rich was off the mark, sending the game to overtime.
In the extra session, Ayers scored a quick layup after the tip and then assisted on another Borst-Smith and-one bucket to give the Yellowjackets the early lead which they would not surrender through the extra session.
With the score tied at 26 all in the first half, the Bombers would embark on a 14-2 run over seven minutes to build the games largest lead at 12, with 5:21 on the clock. Chasin had eight points while Flood added five in the run while Rochester went cold, going 1-12 from the floor and committed five turnovers.
The Yellowjackets answered though, closing the half with a 13-2 spurt of their own which was capped by a Mack Montague buzzer-beating 3-pointer, sending UR to the locker room trailing only by one at 42-41.
Rochester would start fast in the opening 90 seconds of the second half, jumping out to a seven point lead behind a Borst-Smith layup and two Knox treys. UR's biggest lead would reach 10 after a Montague three with 15:29 remaining in the game.
Overall in the contest there were 11 ties and nine lead changes between the teams. The Bombers held the edge on the glass, grabbing 46 rebounds to UR's 38 while Rochester dished out 28 assists, compared to IC's 18.
Ayers was Rochester's leading rebounder with seven, while Montague had six. Borst-Smith had five with six assists and four steals and Knox added five boards and two blocked shots.
The Yellowjackets now look ahead to their home opener on Friday when they host Alfred University in the Palestra at 6 pm as part of the annual Chuck Resler Invitational.