Two last-second, game-tying threes were a little too much to ask from the men's basketball team (4-4) yesterday, as Columbia fell 68-65 in overtime at Elon (4-4).
After junior forward Alex Rosenberg connected from downtown with less than a second remaining in regulation, first-year forward Luke Petrasek's desperation shot missed with a second remaining in overtime.
“I thought it was a hard-fought battle, and we just came up short,” Light Blue head coach Kyle Smith said.
After Elon opened up a 15-0 lead 10 minutes into the game, it looked like the Phoenix would cruise to a win.
“We got pretty good looks the whole game,” Smith said. “I don't know if it was the layoff or travel. We didn't put it in the basket.”
After sophomore guard Maodo Lo made a layup to cut the deficit to 13—only to be followed by an Elon basket to put the hosts back up by 15—Smith subbed in sophomore forward Zach En'Wezoh. He pointed to both his and Rosenberg's play off the bench as helping the Lions cut into their deficit over the final 10 minutes of the half.
“Their energy got us going, got us back in it, I think,” Smith said.
Layups from Petrasek and En'Wezoh, a three from junior guard Noah Springwater, and a pair of free throws from sophomore guard Isaac Cohen cut the Phoenix's lead to six. After Elon was able to get it back into double digits, a trey from Cohen, a layup and trey from Rosenberg, and a trey from junior center Cory Osetkowski sent Columbia into halftime trailing by five.
The Light Blue quickly tied the game coming out of the break, but the Phoenix jumped back ahead and stayed one or two possessions up on the visitors for most of the half. A Rosenberg layup with two minutes to go cut Columbia's deficit to 57-54.
Although the Lions didn't score for the next 119 seconds, neither did Elon, thanks to a pair of turnovers and missed free throws. That paved the way for Rosenberg to tie the game.
The roles flipped in overtime, though. Less than a minute in, Cohen missed a free throw that would have given the Light Blue its first lead of the game. Later, after he tied the game with a layup, sophomore guard Grant Mullins had the ball stolen—again with a chance to put his team in front—while Osetkowski also was slapped with a turnover with Columbia down two.
“Guys have to just stay with what we do,” Smith said. “I think we got a little bit away from our team offense. It can happen sometimes. It caused a little discomfort.”
Columbia next plays Wednesday at home against Army.
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