DOYLESTOWN (PA) – Delaware Valley College freshman guard Zach Sly hit a driving layup with 2.1 seconds remaining to lift the host Aggies to a 74-72 victory over SUNY New Paltz in a non-conference game.
The win was the second straight and the third in the last four games for Delaware Valley as it improved to 7-5 on the season. The Hawks saw their overall record drop to 4-7.
The Aggies saw a 15-point advantage evaporate as SUNY New Paltz battle back and take a 66-65 lead with 4:50 remaining. The teams then traded the lead for the next minute-play before a three-point play by Shereef Taylor and a free throw by Matt Devine gave the Hawks a 72-69 lead with 2:43 to go.
Daulton Derr got inside for a bucket with 1:06 left to make it a one-point contest. SUNY New Paltz missed at the other end and Sly was fouled on a scramble near the Hawk basket with 24.8 seconds to go. He hit his first free throw to tie the game, but missed the second and SUNY New Paltz came away with the rebound. However, the Hawks turned the ball over as a pass sailed into their bench with 7.4 seconds on the clock.
Following a timeout, Sly took the inbounds pass and went around a double screen at midcourt. He had a wide open lane to the basket and he hit the layup for the game-winning basket. SUNY New Paltz inbounded the ball and dribbled to midcourt, but failed to get a shot off before the buzzer.
Delaware Valley scored the first 10 points of the game thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers by Derr and Francis Arnold, a layup by Sly and a thunderous dunk by Jeremy Beckett. The Aggies led by as many as 15 in the opening stanza and eventually took a 39-31 advantage into the break.
Delaware Valley went back up by 15 on four different occasions, the last coming on another Beckett dunk for a 56-41 score with 14:38 remaining. However, the Hawks scored nine straight over the next three minutes, including five by Andrew Joseph, to get to within six. They were still down eight as the clock ticked under eight minutes, but another 9-0 run was capped by Matt Devine's trey with 4:50 left to give his squad their first lead of the game at 66-65. That led to the wild finish and Sly's late-game heroics.
Sly equaled his career high of 13 points and also had career bests of eight assists and four steals. Beckett had a double-double at halftime and finished with 18 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks. Derr added 19 points while Jay Donovan hit double digits with 11 points.
Taylor was unstoppable for the Hawks as he notched 26 points, 14 rebounds and five steals. Devine finished with 15 points and nine boards while Joseph had 11 points and five assists.