MILTON, Mass. – A late three-point-play by Spencer Feng (Keene, N.H.) and some key free throws from Jared Thorpe-Johnson (Dorchester, Mass.) helped the Curry College men's basketball team defeat Elms College by a 72-65 in the consolation game of the Hampton Inn Classic Hosted by UMass Dartmouth on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Colonels improve to 1-1 while the Blazers fall to 0-3.
The teams were deadlocked at 53 with 4:08 to go in the second half. Curry grabbed the lead with 1:57 remaining after All-Tournament Team selection Barak Swarttz (Newton, Mass.) knocked down a three, which prompted an Elms timeout. Following two free throws from Diomanni Fernandez (Tamarac, Fla.) to pull to within one at 57-56, Justin Kelley (Medford, Mass.) kept it at a three-point lead with a lay-up to put the score at 59-56 with just over a minute left. 11 seconds later Fernandez converted on the game-tying three which was the basket that sent the contest to overtime.
The first two minutes of the overtime period were evenly matched as the teams were tied at 63 with 3:37 remaining. The three-point play by Feng, lay-up from Kelley and four good free throws from Thorpe-Johnson were the difference down the stretch. The clutch free throws proved to put the game out of reach for the Blazers as they could not score for the rest of the overtime.
The Colonels led by as many as 14 in the first half and held a 29-15 advantage with 3:26 to go in the first half before Elms made a run to close the gap. The Blazers closed to within two with 15:27 left in regulation when DJ Edelen (Prince George, Va.) knocked down a three to make the score 38-36. The Blazers were able to knot the game at 38, but a quick 5-0 run put Curry back in front. The lead changed hands multiple times over the final minutes of regulation but it was the Colonels ultimately coming out with the overtime victory.
Curry shot 36.1 percent from the floor and went 18-for-24 at the free throw line. Swarttz finished with 18 points and nine rebounds to lead five student-athletes in double figures. Joining Swarttz in double figures was Thorpe-Johnson (17), Feng (12), Kieran Carroll (Greenwich, Conn.) (10) and Kelley (10). Kelley added a game-high 11 rebounds for a double-double.
The Eagles shot 29.9 percent from the field and went 19-for-27 from the charity stripe. Fernandez led the way with 17 points and five rebounds while Michal Ohradka (Feeding Hills, Mass.) chipped in with 16 points.
Curry will next head to Yale on Sunday, November 19 at 2:00 p.m. Elms will next play at Trinity on Tuesday, November 21 at 7:00 p.m.