PORTSMOUTH – Men's basketball put together another valiant effort in front of the University's Homecoming Crowd Saturday afternoon. However, the outcome was all too familiar as of late as the Bears (8-14, 2-9 MSC) fell in an overtime thriller to No. 18 Georgetown, 83-79. The Bears and Tigers have gone to overtime just three times in the series history. However, those three meetings have all come within the last four matchups which include a pair of overtime games a year ago.
The Bears got a pair of 21 point performances from Trevor Banks and Mark Bryant on the afternoon to lead the offense. These two also recorded double-doubles as they both pulled down an identical 11 rebounds. Andrew Bendolph added a season-high 15 points along with five assists to the offense. Georgetown was led by Dominique Hagans as he scored 27 points in the contest, while also pulling down 13 rebounds. Noah Cottrill added 22 points to the Tigers' offense.
Right from the start, Shawnee State brought the fights to Georgetown as the Bears were up 10-4 after Bryant hit three straight free throws after he was fouled behind the arc. Georgetown got into its game with a 7-0 run to take a brief one point lead before Shawnee State answered that with 12 of the next sixteen points to take its largest lead of the half, 22-15, with 7:49 to play.
The Tigers would again turn the tables on the Bears and led by as many of six points during the opening 20 minutes before SSU scored the final six points of the half and trailed 38-36 at the half. In total, the first half saw four ties and five different lead changes.
The second half was even more dramatic as the score was tied on eight different occasions with each team also taking the lead on three different occasions. The Bears largest lead of the half was just two points, while Georgetown's largest lead of five during the second half came with 4:57 to play and the Tigers holding a 69-64 edge.
Bryant got three of those points back with an old fashioned 3-point play, while Bendolph added two more free throws after a missed trey from Georgetown in its offensive set. Bendolph's two makes from the charity stripe would tie the game at 69-all with 2:38 to play.
With just over two minutes to go, the free throws went in favor of Georgetown this time as Hagans put his team back up by two. However, Bendolph would again get into the paint and hit the layup with 1:22 to play, tying the score at 71-all. Hagans and Bendolph would also trade points in the paint in the next two possessions to leave the score knotted at 73-all with 38 seconds on the clock and the ball in Georgetown's control.
The Bears would come out with possession after forcing a turnover out of bounds from the Tigers with 3.6 seconds to play. However, the Bears had to go nearly the length of the court after the ball went out at the sideline. Bryant would get a rushed looked from just inside of the 3-point line but would leave it just short as the teams headed for overtime.
In the overtime session, Georgetown opened up the scoring with an 8-0 run that included a pair of old fashioned 3-point plays as the Tigers found themselves up 81-73 with 2:40 left in the game. However, a 3-pointer from Sean Elliott cut the deficit to five while a free throw that was later followed by a dunk on the next possession from Bryant made the score 81-79 with 37.3 seconds to play.
Georgetown, which struggled to make its free throws all day long, would miss both ends of its double bonus, giving the Bears a final chance to tie or win the game at the final buzzer but a botched exchange near the top of the arc would lead to a turnover that ultimately sealed the Bears' final fate.
Men's basketball will be back at home next Saturday as it plays host to Rio Grande in the only action for the Bears next week. That game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. tip.