CLEVELAND, OH - It took an extra five minutes longer than it wanted, but the University of Rochester men's basketball team emerged with an 82-78 overtime victory over Case Western Reserve University on Sunday afternoon at Adelbert Gymnasium.
Host Case Western Reserve (15-9, 6-7 UAA) got some late game magic from Matt Clark and forced OT with some help of Rochester missed free throws, but the Yellowjackets (10-14, 6-7 UAA) made some key stops and sank just enough from the charity stripe in the extra session to hang on for the win.
The Spartans battled back in the second half after they trailed by as many as 19 points in the game. Clark would end up scoring Case's last 14 points of regulation, closing a six point Rochester lead by himself over the last 1:11.
With the clock at 4.2 seconds after two Mack Montague free throws for UR, Clark was fouled shooting a wild three pointer as the scoreboard showed 0.4 seconds. The junior would calmly sink all three free throws, sending the game into overtime.
In the extra session, with Case up 69-68, Montague sank a floater in the lane which gave UR the lead for good. On the defensive end, Tyler Sankes then blocked a Clark layup attempt which led to a Kevin Sheehy 3-pointer at the other end to put the 'Jackets up 73-69.
Clark then responded with a layup for Case, but sophomore Sam Borst-Smith made a clutch jumper from the top of the key to answer back, maintaining the four point lead with 1:04 on the clock.
Down the stretch, UR would sink 7-of-10 from the charity stripe to seal the win.
After Rochester scored the first five points of the second half to build a game high 19 point lead, the home Spartans would embark on an extended 25-4 run over 10 minutes to grab a two point lead at 43-41 with 7:17 left in regulation.
The Yellowjackets would then build their lead back to six after a Montague three with 3:23 left before Clark would take the game over and rally for the tie at the end of regulation.
Montague would lead Rochester in scoring with 21 points. He added six rebounds and three steals. Sam Borst-Smith added 15 points and five boards while Sankes added 14 points and seven rebounds. Zack Ayers chipped in 11 points and four rebounds off the bench.
For Case, Clark ended with a game high 24 points, including going 13-14 from the free throw line. Freshman Eric Black also was strong off the bench, adding 19 points and 10 rebounds.
As a team, Rochester shot 40.9% (27-66) from the floor while Case Western Reserve shot 38% (27-71) in the game. UR made six three's while the Spartans struggled from long range making just 3-of-23 (13%), including going 0-12 in the first half.
Rochester finished its regular season on Saturday at Emory University who clinched at least a share of the UAA title with its victory over Carnegie Mellon University on Sunday. Case hosts CMU on Saturday to finish its season.