North Adams, MA- The MCLA Men's Basketball team returned from a 18 day layoff and dug in to hold off visiting Norwich 78-69 in overtime this afternoon in non league play in the Amsler Campus Center. The Trailblazers improve to 4-6 overall and have now won three straight contests. Norwich drops to 5-5 on the season.
MCLA led throughout the second half and actually never trailed over the last 40 minutes of action. Norwich trimmed a 14 point deficit at halftime to just 55-50 after Jesse Davis' layup with six minutes left to play. Norwich kept coming and got within a point at 58-57, but MCLA answered with five straight points to take a 63-57 lead with just 48 seconds remaining in regulation.
Davis answered with a quick three pointer for Norwich to slice the lead in half, and then after an MCLA turnover, he once again stepped back and calmly knocked down another triple to knot things up at 63-63 with 20 seconds left. MCLA had a chance to win it in regulation, but Ki-Shawn Monroe's jumper was short and the teams headed to overtime.
In the OT, MCLA controlled play outscoring Norwich 15-6. Antoine Montgomery gave MCLA the lead for keeps with a layup and after Hayden Bird converted an old fashioned three point play, they led 70-63. Norwich would get no closer than five points the rest of the way as MCLA went 6-7 from the line in the extra session.
In the opening half, MCLA led just 8-6 through eight minutes of action as both teams started sluggish. The Trailblazers woke up first however and used an 11-0 spurt to take control and lead 19-6. They eventually moved to their largest lead of the half at 23-8 after a Joaquin Scullark putback.
Norwich responded with a 9-2 run to get within 25-17 following a Jesse Davis jumper, but MCLA responded with six straight points to regain control. They would eventually lead 35-21 at the half as Mike Demartinis converted his lone field goal at the buzzer.
Each team struggled from the floor as MCLA was just 35% from the floor while Norwich was held to 29% shooting. The teams combined to shoot just 6-24 from three point range.
MCLA placed four players in double figures led by Joaquin Scullark's 15 points. He added 11 rebounds and 3 steals for the Trailblazers. Mike Demartinis, Monroe, and Quran Davis each ended with 13 points. The Trailblazers shot 37% from the floor in the win.
Norwich was paced by Davis' game high 20 point night. He completed the double double with 11 rebounds. Donovan Lewis Jr. added 15 points and 8 boards while Spencer Conatser added 11 points. The Cadets were hurt by 25 turnovers and shot just 36% from the floor. They also were just 11-20 from the free throw line in the loss.
MCLA is back in action on Monday as they host SUNY Delhi at Noon. The Cadets are back in action tomorrow at 2pm against Delhi as well.