PITTSFORD, NY – Junior Sam Borst-Smith hit the game-winning layup with under three seconds to play to lift the University of Rochester to a 60-58 come from behind victory over Nazareth College on Tuesday night at Kidera Gymnasium.
Borst-Smith led UR with 25 points on the night, hitting 10-19 from the floor, 3-8 from 3-point range while also pulling down 6 rebounds and adding 4 assists. In addition to the game-winning shot, Borst-Smith scored the last seven points for the Yellowjackets (3-1), including an old-fashioned 3-point play off a steal with 36 seconds on the clock to tie the game at 58-58.
The loss drops Nazareth to 3-2 on the season. Mitch Ford let the Golden Flyers with 25 points and 11 rebounds.
In the first half, the Yellowjackets and Golden Flyers went back and forth for the first 10 minutes of the game until UR built its largest lead of the game to four points after a Tucker Knox 3-pointer.
Nazareth then rattled off a 14-0 run to build a double-digit lead at 28-18 with 5:51 left in the half. Ford had six points in the spurt for the Golden Flyers while Nick Nadeau added four.
Heading into the break, Borst-Smith would hit a 3-pointer to chip away at the Nazareth lead, sending the Yellowjackets into halftime only down three, 32-29.
Four minutes into the second half, Nazareth would get its lead back up to nine after three straight baskets from Tyler Stenglein, Daniel Jacob and Ford. At the 6:13 mark, the Golden Flyers would still maintain a comfortable lead sitting up by 10 at 55-45.
After that point though, the shots began to not fall for the home team, allowing the Yellowjackets to climb back into it. Borst-Smith would hit a jumper and then sink a layup to get UR within six with under four minutes to play.
Four Michael Mangan points sandwiched a Nadeau trey and UR was down five with 2:44 on the clock. Borst-Smith then took over, scoring the game's final seven points to complete the comeback victory.
In addition to Borst-Smith's 25 points, senior Jared Seltzer added 15 points and 11 rebounds. Mangan chipped in six points and five rebounds while Dylan Peretz added seven rebounds and two blocks.
For Naz, Ford led the way, but Nadeau finished with 14 points and six rebounds while Stenglein added 10 points on the night.
On the night, UR shot 39% (23-59) and made seven 3-pointers while Nazareth ended up at 40% (22-55) but struggled from long range, making only two of 21 attempts. Rochester held the rebounding edge 40-34.
Up next for the Yellowjackets is the annual UR/Holiday Inn Airport Thanksgiving Classic this Saturday and Sunday. Rochester will open with Johnson State College in the semifinals on Saturday at 5 pm while the other semi will feature Middlebury and Oswego State. The losing teams from Saturday will then play at 1 pm on Sunday and the championship game will be played at 3 pm.