Barons Tie Single-Season Win Record, Win OT Thriller at Altoona

More news about: Franciscan (Ohio)

ALTOONA, Pa. – After Penn State Altoona tied the game with 0.9 seconds left on the clock in regulation, the Franciscan men's basketball team out-scored the Lions 15-7 in the extra period to win a 99-91 overtime thriller, Thursday evening.
The Lions opened the overtime with an inopportune turnover just three seconds into play and senior Juwan Perkins (Detroit, MI/Oak Park) nailed the three-pointer in front of the Baron bench to give Franciscan an 87-84 lead at the 4:50 mark. Neither team could finish a shot over the next 1:20 of play until Jack Kusters finished off a steal by Austin Krise with a fast-break layup to cut the lead to 87-86. Cam Gardner-Nicholson tied the game at 87 after hitting the back end of a trip to the free throw line with 3:00 left on the clock.
Junior John Noce (Brewster, NY/John F. Kennedy Catholic) and sophomore Sean Hickey (North Olmstead, OH/Holy Name) sandwiched a pair of good free throws around a Gardner-Nicholson layup and the Barons took the lead for good, 91-89, with 2:16 to play. Hickey pushed the lead back to four, 93-89, with just over a minute to play and junior Joe Schriner (Bluffton, OH/Bluffton) scored the game's final six points, four from the free throw line, including two with five seconds left, to seal the 99-91 win.
The 99 points for Franciscan set the DIII record for points in a game by a Baron team and the win ties the single-season win record in the DIII era. The Barons improve to 7-6 on the year and 3-3 in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference.
"We might not be pretty, but we are some tough dudes," remarked head coach Joe Wallace following the victory.
The Lions got out to a quick 9-0 lead after the first 3:26 before junior Josh York (Russia, OH/Russia Local) made a layup under the basket thanks to a quick pass from Perkins. The York basket kicked off a 9-0 run for the Barons and began to swim momentum in favor of Franciscan with 14:32 to play in the first. The next four minutes featured four lead changes and three ties before a good free throw from Schriner gave Franciscan the lead for the rest of the half, 16-15, with 11:18 to play. Perkins pushed the Baron lead to 13, the largest of the half for the visiting team, with a layup with 6:22 to play. The Lions hung around, however, and kept the gap within 13 before cutting it down to eight, 42-34, at the break.
Franciscan and the Lions continued to play back-and-forth basketball as both teams seemed to have an answer for the other's big play. With 13:37 left in the second, the Barons seemingly took control of the game as Hickey nailed a three to give Franciscan a 59-44 lead, the largest lead for either team in the contest. Once again, the Lions chipped away and eventually cut the lead back down to three, 68-65, with 6:31 left in regulation thanks to a four-point play by Kusters.
Hickey quickly answered with back-to-back threes to push the Baron lead back up to nine, 74-65, with 5:43 to play. A pair of free throws from Perkins widened the gap back to 10, 76-66, with 4:48 but the Lions found an offensive groove and cut the lead down to two, 77-75, with 2:34 left. Kusters tied the game at 77-77 at 2:17 but a Hickey jumper and four points from Schriner gave Franciscan back the lead, 83-77. Tyson West hit a three to get the Lions to within three, 83-80, with 48 seconds left and Gardner-Nicholson made both of his free throws to get PSA to within one, 83-82, with 10 seconds left. After Noce hit the back end of a trip to the free throw line to push the lead back to two, Jalen Archie-Davis sent the game into overtime with a driving layup that fell with just 0.9 seconds left on the clock. A desperation shot from Perkins fell short and the game headed into the thrilling overtime period.
The Barons hit 31 of their 79 field goals and went 28-for-38 from the free throw line, including going 8-for-8 in the overtime period.
Four players finished in double figures for the Barons including Hickey with 27 points, tying his career-best. Perkins racked up 19 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. The senior also handed out three assists, had three steals, and a pair of blocks. Schriner finished the day with 15 points and six rebounds. Noce scored seven points, pulled down seven rebounds, handed out five assists and had a pair of steals. York had nine points, seven rebounds, and two blocks in just 15 minutes of play after getting into foul trouble early.
"Sean was in a groove tonight and hit some huge shots," continued Coach Wallace. "When Sean is comfortable he's one of the best guards in our conference. Joe and Juwan had to play multiple positions and did a good job of driving to the basket and creating fouls."
Freshman Travis Lien (St. Louis, MO/Kirkwood) came off the bench for a career-best 14 points, including three 3-pointers, and a pair of assists.
"We got huge production from guys off the bench," remarked Coach Wallace. "Travis is continuing to become a versatile threat. Justin Mack played tough on the defensive end and took care of the ball. Dalton Davis continues to do everything we ask of him."
The Barons continue their road trip on Saturday after a quick turnaround as Franciscan heads to Hamburg, NY for a 3:00 pm tip against AMCC opponent, Hilbert.