POULTNEY, Vt. – Green Mountain played the majority of the game scratching and clawing its way from behind, but it's short-lived lead came at the most important time as the Eagles used an 8-0 run to end the game to down Maine Maritime Academy, 58-55, in North Atlantic Conference (NAC) men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at the Eagle Dome.
Green Mountain (4-5, 2-3 NAC) trailed the Mariners 55-50 at the 2:31 mark of the second half, but a Duane Goodman, Jr. (Charlotte, N.C.) put back layup off his own miss and two free throws from Sean Leflore (Moreno Valley, Calif) cut the lead to just 55-54 with 1:31 remaining.
After Brendan Newcomb missed a look from deep the Eagles called a timeout and drew up an inbound play. The result was a clutch three-pointer from Goodman, Jr. off of the Leflore inbound pass to give the Eagles their first lead since their 4-3 lead at the 16:00 mark of the first half. The Mariners had a couple of opportunity to put themselves back in the game, but could not find the range.
The nail biting win was a thrilling result for the raucous crowd that were standing for the majority of the final few minutes chanting "defense" and begging for just one more stop.
Maine Maritime (0-8, 0-4 NAC) lost the heartbreaker after using three-straight marks from distance starting at the 15:51 mark of the first to seize an early lead which it held throughout most of the game. Newcomb nailed back–to-back threes before Nicholas DePatsy added one of his own to push the visitors to a 12-4 lead at the 14:57 mark.
A pair of Riley Jorgensen threes helped grow the Mariners' first half lead to 23-11 just past the midway part of the half.
Six-straight points by Leflore cut the lead to 23-17 just over a minute later and by the 7:14 mark GMC's Alex Sanchez (San Fernando Valley, Calif.) cut the lead to 24-23 with 6:46 remaining on four makes from the charity stripe. However, the Mariners closed out the half on a 6-2 run to take a 30-25 lead into the break.
DePatsy led the Mariners with 11 first half points while Sanchez posted eight for the Eagles.
The Mariners and Eagles continued to play the cat and mouse game throughout the second half as the visitors would inch ahead only to have the home siders battle back to narrow MMA's lead. Green Mountain was unable to take hold of the lead until the run to conclude the game.
The Eagles received a game-high 17 points from Leflore on 6-of-9 shooting who also contributed six rebounds. Goodman, Jr. notched 14 points, including his five points down the stretch to support the offense. Sanchez added eight points to his game-high 10 rebounds while Diante Warner (Albany, N.Y.) led the reserves with five points.
DePatsy led the Mariners with 14 points while adding five rebounds. Adam Richardson collected 13 points and six rebounds, while Nick Judge scored 10 and notched three steals. Jorgensen led the Mariners off the bench with seven points.
In a contrast of playing styles, the Eagles scored 24 points in the paint while the Mariners hit on 30 from outside. Free throw shooting decidedly played a factor as the hosts shot 19-of-25 from the line while the guests hit on just 11-of-21.
Green Mountain will remain at home for its last contest before the holiday break as the team will host Plymouth St. on Thursday for a 7 p.m. tip-off. Maine Maritime will reconvene after the break for its next game as it takes on SUNY Maritime on December 29th at 2 p.m.