Men’s basketball holds on for overtime win against Holy Cross

Michael Caruso, Senior Writer

The Bison men’s basketball team (21-9, 15-2 PL) managed to edge out Holy Cross) 68-67 in an overtime thriller on Feb. 17. Nana Foulland ’18 was the centerpiece, guiding the Bison’s success with 21 points and nine rebounds, while Zach Thomas ’18 and Stephen Brown ’18 each added 15 points. With this win, the Orange and Blue hit the 20-win plateau for the 14th time in program history. The Bison added to their success on Feb. 21 with a Senior Night win against Navy.

Early in the game, it was a back and forth battle, showcasing stellar defense from both teams. The Crusaders had a five-point lead midway through the first half, until an 11-1 run sparked by Thomas and Kimbal Mackenzie ’19 swung the momentum back in favor of the Orange and Blue. Holy Cross showed they were able to find some gaps in the Bison defense, managing to close the first half on a 7-0 run that put them up by one point.

Although the Orange and Blue led for much of the second half, it was never enough to put the game out of reach for Holy Cross. Further down the stretch, Holy Cross began to rally and the Bison saw themselves going cold at an inopportune time.

With just 2:58 left to play, Holy Cross notched a crucial three-point field goal that put them up by one. However, that proved to be their final field goal of the day. Foulland recorded a pivotal dunk with 1:17 left, but Holy Cross knocked down one of two free throws, tying the game at 66-66. The Bison and the Crusaders each had a possession in the final 49 seconds of regulation, but neither team was able to capitalize, sending it to overtime.

Overtime proved to be a game of free throws, as neither team recorded a field goal through the five-minute period. Holy Cross went 0-7 shooting, while the Orange and Blue went 0-4 from the field in the extra time. Thomas sank two free throws with 3:24 remaining, which turned out to be crucial shots and the game-winning points. Defense proved to be the focus for the rest of overtime, which saw only three points combined.

“I would say our mentality as a team is to respect our opponent, but know that we are better in every aspect of the game,” Nate Sestina ’19 said. “It’s a confidence thing we have as a group of 14. We know every team is going to try to come in and play their hearts out, but we need to outplay them.”

Seniors Thomas, Foulland, and Brown were celebrated for Senior Night against Navy on Feb. 21. The three combined for 60 points in the matchup to smother the third place Mids by a final score of 85-61. Bruce Moore ’20 added ten points off the bench and Sestina contributed two key blocks on the defensive end. The Orange and Blue shot an impressive 55.6 percent on the night and sunk ten three-pointers to seal the victory.

The Orange and Blue will close their regular season schedule on Feb 24. at American University.

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