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Vargas lifts Hornets over Mariners in Overtime

Vargas lifts Hornets over Mariners in Overtime

CASTINE, Maine – A left-handed scoop shot from Eric Vargas (Lowell, Mass.) with 1.3 seconds left lifted the Lyndon State College men's basketball team over Maine Maritime Academy 72-70 in overtime Friday evening in North Atlantic Conference action.

Maine Maritime's Nick Judge (Cushing, Maine) opened up the scoring with a three-pointer to give the Mariners (3-11, 0-7 NAC) an early lead but the Hornets (4-7, 3-4 NAC) went on an eight-point run to take an 8-3 lead with 17:25 to go in the first. The Mariners battled back to cut the deficit to one (16-15) following a free throw by Tyler Thayer (Hermon, Maine) at 11:19, but Lyndon pulled away once again, outscoring the Mariners 11-2 in the next three minutes to take an 11-point lead (28-17).

The Mariners capitalized on three free throws to close the gap to 29-26 at 4:04. The Hornets outscored Maine Maritime 9-3 in the closing minutes of the half, to take a 38-29 lead into halftime.

The second half mirrored the first, as Judge splashed a three to open up play, closing the gap to 38-32. After a Lyndon free throw, Thayer sank a three and a bucket to bring it within four. The Hornets scored six-straight to build a 10-point lead at 15:40.

Four straight points tied the game at 47-47 with 9:29 to play, and a three from Thayer gave the Mariners their first lead of the second half at 8:44. Vargas tied things up with a three, but the Mariners hit two from the line to make it 52-50 at 6:58.

The Hornets went on an 11-1 run to build a 61-53 lead at 3:10 but the Mariners fought back once again, when a Thayer three sparked an 8-2 run to close out regulation and send the game into overtime deadlocked at 63-63.

Xavier Colbert (Manassas, Va.) gave the Hornets the lead to start overtime with a layup and a free throw. Judge brought the Mariners within one on a basket, but Colbert added a jumper for the Hornets to make it 68-65 with 3:51 to go. Dylan Stevens (Wells, Maine) hit one from the line to close the Hornet lead to two with 3:14 remaining.

With 1:57 to play in overtime, Judge tied the game up for the fourth time, making both of his free throws. Jose Berroa (Lawrence, Mass.) hit both of his shots from the line with 1:09 to go, to make it 70-68, but Stevens pulled down an offensive board and made the layup to tie the game at 70-70 with 43 seconds remaining. Berroa pulled down a crucial offensive rebound, setting up a layup from Vargas with 1.3 left on the clock, and the Hornets hung on for the victory.

Vargas and Raymond Monroe (Cranston, R.I.) led the Hornets with 14 points each. Monroe added a team-best six rebounds, and two steals, while Vargas recorded five assists, four rebounds, and a steal and Colbert ended the game with 12 points and five rebounds.

Thayer led all players with 23 points and eight rebounds, while adding a team-high five assists, and three steals. Judge ended the evening with 17 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

The Hornets travel to Husson University to continue NAC play at 1:00 p.m.

The Mariners will host Johnson State College at 1:00 p.m.