PAXTON, Mass.—Senior Kyle Davis (Groveland, Mass.) hit a floating layup off an inbounds play with 1.3 seconds remaining to push the fifth-seeded Emmanuel College men's basketball team to a 91-89 win over the No. 4 AMCATS of Anna Maria in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Quarterfinal on Tuesday evening.
Emmanuel improves to 10-16 win the win, while Anna Maria falls to 14-12.
Anna Maria saw a game-high 23 points from senior Patrick Bradanese (Billerica, Mass.). Bradanese also finished with eight rebounds and seven assists. Classmates Tyler Delorey (Worcester, Mass.) and Kyle McKissick (Charlton, Mass.) also scored in double-figures, checking in with 18 and 15 points, respectively.
Freshman Manny Payton (Fitchburg, Mass.) rounded out the AMCAT top scorers with 12 points off the bench.
All five of the Saints starters scored in double-figures, led by Davis with 18 points. Colin Cordero (Bolton, Conn.) scored 16 points, followed by Kyle Smith (Los Angeles, Calif.) with 13. John Clay (Westport, Mass.) and Matt Raine (Miami, Fla.) finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Davis recorded a double-double in the victory, as he paired his 18 points with a game-high 11 rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The AMCATS led for the entire first half and for the first 10 minutes of the second half. They used the opening minute-and-a-half of the second frame to build their largest lead of the day at 13 points. The Saints went to work from there, holding the AMCATS scoreless for a stretch of 2:40 following Bradanese's layup at the 18:01 mark.
During the scoreless stretch, the Saints scored nine points of their own, quickly turning a double-digit lead for Anna Maria into a four-point lead at the 16:23 mark.
The AMCATS snapped the drought with a three-pointer by Delorey at 15:40, but the Saints scored on their next two possessions to cut the lead to three points, 60-57, at 15:06.
Anna Maria built up another seven-point lead and maintained the margin for a bit until a string of scoreless possessions allowed the Saints within one, 69-68, following a made three-pointer by Will Jessop (Westwood, Mass.). A costly turnover on Anna Maria's next possession put the ball back in the Saint's hands, and following a foul, Rashad Dixon (Brockton, Mass.) hit the first of two free-throws to tie the score for the first time.
Bradanese drained a three-pointer on the AMCATS' next trip, but Davis hit back-to-back layups to give the Saints their first lead of the day at 73-72 with 8:52 still to play.
The two team would exchange five more lead changes and would tie the score and additional five times over the remaining time.
With 2:48 on the clock Emmanuel took their largest lead of the game, a four-point advantage at 86-82. Anna Maria would fight back to tie the score for the fifth time at 87-87 with 1:28 on the clock.
A pair of free-throws by Cordero at the 1:22 mark put the Saints up again, 89-87, until Bradanese tied it again on a jumper 21 seconds later.
Following a missed three-pointer by the Saints, the AMCATS had control with an eight-second differential on the game-clock and the shot-clock. Anna Maria called timeout to draft a play and managed to run some time down, but a costly AMCAT turnover with nine seconds left gave the Saints one last chance.
Diggs took an off-target layup with three seconds left but the ball bounced off an AMCAT defender. The Saints ran a textbook inbounds play with 1.3 seconds on the clock, feeding the 6-foot 6-inch Davis high above his head. Davis jumped, caught the ball, and laid it in for the game-winning basket with .4 seconds left on the clock.
Anna Maria tried to run a full-court heave but was unsuccessful.
The AMCATS hit an impressive 20 field goals in the first half, shooting 54.1 percent from the floor (20-37). The second half was a different story, as they shot 12-26 (46.2 percent). Overall, the AMCATS shot at 50.8 percent (32-63), shooting above .500 for the first time in 12 games.
The Saints compiled a 47.9 percent shooting effort (35-73) on the day. They bested the AMCATS at the free-throw line—both teams had 25 attempts, but the Saints converted on 18 to Anna Maria's 15.
Emmanuel held a 52-43 advantage in points in the paint, a 23-7 lead in points off turnovers, and a 26-10 edge in second-chance points. The AMCATS led on the fast break, 17-4.
This marks the second-straight season that the Saints have upset the AMCATS in the GNAC quarterfinal. Last season, Emmanuel took a 76-73 win in the No. 3/No. 6 matchup. Emmanuel has now won three out of the last four games against Anna Maria. The AMCATS still lead the series, 8-4.
Emmanuel will now advance to the semifinal game against top-seeded Johnson & Wales on Thursday. Anna Maria will await word of a bid to the 2016 ECAC Tournament.