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DeSales men beat Lycoming in a thrilling finish 54-53

As soon as DeSales’ Mason Barnes drove into the paint and scored on a layup, Lycoming coach Mike McGarvey called a timeout. Down by a point, the Warriors needed to draw something up.

The only problem? There was just 1.2 seconds remaining on the clock.

McGarvey though was hoping for some sort of look on the inbounds pass to put up a quick shot and win the game.

It was a small window, but Lycoming was hoping it was enough to get off a shot. Mo Terry looked down court coming out of the timeout and tried to throw a pass just past midcourt to DeAundre Manuel. But a DeSales defender managed to pick off the pass and seal the game.

It was a thrilling final sequence in Lamade Gymnasium as DeSales held off Lycoming and won, 54-53, in a huge MAC Freedom contest between the top two teams in the league.

“With 1.2 seconds and going full court, it’s really hard to do that,” McGarvey said. “We tried to throw it up in the air to DeAundre Manuel and we tried to get a catch, because he’s one of our most athletic guys, and a shot.”

DeSales remained undefeated in the MAC Freedom (6-0) and improved to 14-1 overall. The Warriors are 10-6 overall and 5-2 in the MAC Freedom.

Lycoming trailed for majority of the second half, although the Warriors did tie the game up four times. But it was a 3-pointer by Dyson Harward with 4 minutes, 45 seconds left which gave Lycoming its first second-half lead, 50-48. DeSales tied it up when Dat Lambert converted a layup with 3:52 to go, 50-50. And from there, it was an exciting ending.

Timmy Edwards hit a shot with 1:53 to play to go ahead by two, 52-50. On Lycoming’s next possession, it was Matt Ilodigwe who came up clutch with a big 3-pointer to put the Warriors ahead, 53-52.

Lycoming got the ball with 50 seconds left, but DeSales tipped a shot with 50 seconds left to get the possession back. After the Bulldogs missed a layup attempt, Lycoming got the ball with less than 30 to play.

The Warriors tried to get something going, but an errant pass was sent out of bounds, giving the ball back to DeSales, which allowed Barnes to score.

“We knew it was going to be a tight game and we knew how good they were. As a coaching staff, we were talking about we haven’t really been in a one-point, two-point situational game in a really long time with this group,” McGarvey said. “Can we handle that? And I think we did tons of really good things. We had a couple of mistakes there, especially on the offensive end in the last two possessions, but we had chances to win. If our 3-point shooting was any better, the score wouldn’t have been that close.”

The Warriors shot 8 of 33 from 3-point range.

Lycoming built up a 10-point lead in the first half early in the game, 18-8, before DeSales went on a 14-0 run to go ahead by four. Ilodigwe broke that run up when he scored with 67 seconds left until halftime to cut the deficit to 22-20. Lycoming went into the half down by just four when Hamilton drained a 3 with 14 seconds to play, 27-23.

But that 14-0 run didn’t make Lycoming play worried. The Warriors have played from behind through games this year.

“We’ve been in those swings a couple times, so I think our guys are comfortable playing behind,” McGarvey said.

Coming out of the half, DeSales kept its lead until Harward’s 3 with 4:45 to play. But the Bulldogs kept answering every shot Lycoming had. Lycoming tied the game at 31-31, 33-33, 37-37 and 47-47.

Hamilton ended the game with a 19-point performance, and Harward finished with a 10-point, 15-rebound double-double. The Warriors also received 13 points from Ilodigwe.

“They’re phenomenal kids and they love to play basketball. They’re super talented,” McGarvey said. “When they get into games like this, they like to perform and they put the work in to be successful.”

DeSales had just one play in double figures in Edwards, who came off the bench to score 14 points.

That’s a credit to Lycoming’s defense, which limited a lot of the Bulldogs’ weapons. Entering the game, Matt Kachelries was averaging 10.8 points per game, and Lambert was averaging 10.2. Add in Elijah Eberly (9.6) and Jordan Homlqvist (9.5), and DeSales is able to do damage offensively. But the Warriors limited Kachelries to six points, Lambert to four and Holmqvist to five.

“There’s no question they’ve got multiple weapons. They’re really well-coached, but our guard play took them out of rhythm for a long time,” McGarvey said. “When you hold a team to 54 points, you’re expecting to win that game I think, but we didn’t have the offense to do it.”

DESALES (14-1, 6-0 MAC FREEDOM)

Eljiah Eberly 4-7 1-2 9; Matt Kachelries 3-7 0-1 6; Jordan Homlqvist 2-5 0-0 5; Ryan Boylan 0-3 0-0 0; Dat Lambert 2-5 0-0 4; Mason Barnes 2-7 0-0 5; Mike Bealer 0-2 0-0 0; Keba Mitchell 2-5 0-0 4; Will Bowen 2-7 0-1 4; Christian Guldin 1-2 1-2 3; Timmy Edwards 7-11 0-1 14. Totals 25-61 2-7 54.

LYCOMING (10-6, 5-2 MAC FREEDOM)

DeAundre Manuel 1-6 1-2 3; Dyson Harward 3-14 2-2 10; Mo Terry 2-9 1-2 5; Steven Hamilton 7-14 3-3 19; Matt Ilodigwe 5-12 0-0 13; Mavin James 1-5 0-0 3; Austin Loe 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-61 7-9 53.

Halftime: DeSales 27-23.

3-point goals: DeSales 2-6 (Holmqvist 1-2, Barnes 1-2, Lambert 0-1, Bealer 0-2), Lycoming 8-33 (Ilodigwe 3-8, Hamilton 2-, Harward 2-8, James 1-4, Loe 0-1, Manuel 0-1, Terry 0-5). Fouled out: DeSales-none; Lycoming-none. Rebounds: DeSales 38 (Lambert 6), Lycoming 44 (Harward 15). Assists: DeSales 13 (Mitchell 3, Barnes 3, Kachelries 3), Lycoming 11 (Harward 3, Terry 3). Technical fouls: DeSales-none; Lycoming-none. Total fouls: DeSales 14, Lycoming 11.

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