November 10, 2012 Recap
ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NY - The Molloy College men's basketball team got a steal and layup from sophomore Matt McLeod (Greenlawn, NY/Harborfields) with 1.5 seconds remaining to knock the Daemen College Wildcats from the ranks of the unbeaten today in an 80-79 final from Molloy's Quealy Gymnasium on day two of the Lions' Tip-Off Tournament. Molloy, an NCAA Division II school and member of the East Coast Conference - which Daemen will join next season - improved to 2-0 on the season while the Wildcats fell to 6-1.
Turnovers proved costly as Daemen coughed the ball up 24 times resulting in 25 Molloy points, including McLeod's pivotal bucket which erased a one-point Wildcat lead. McLeod was fouled on the play as well but missed his free throw attempt, promoting a Daemen timeout with 0.7 seconds left. A desperation inbounds pass out of the timeout was knocked away and the Lions walked out victorious.
Daemen lead by five at the half (42-37) but Molloy used a quick 7-2 spurt to open the frame, knotting the score at 44-44 on an old-fashioned three-point play by junior John Petrucelli (Hicksville, NY/Hicksville).
Daemen responded with an 11-2 run of their own to open up a 55-46 lead with 14:07 to play. Keying the Wildcat spurt was sophomore big man Gerald Beverly (Rochester, NY/Gates Chili) who scored seven of his game-high 28 points in the run.
Then, with Daemen leading 59-51 on another bucket by Beverly with 10:48 to play, Molloy went to work, holding Daemen without a field goal until the 6:44 mark. A jumper by Richard Zoller (Syosset, NY/Chaminade) knotted things at 61-all with 7:00 left before a Beverly layup broke the Daemen drought on the next possession.
Daemen again extended its lead, this time to 68-62 on a clutch three-point shot by junior Alvin Satram (New Port Richey, FL/Pasco-Hernando CC) late in the shot clock with 5:19 to go, and two Beverly free throws at the 4:42 mark, only to see Molloy fight back again. The Lions got a three-pointer from senior guard Jimmy Nolan (Plantation, FL/Archbishop McCarthy) and another three-point play from McLeod to force the ninth tie of the game at 68-all with 4:11 remaining.
Back-to-back Daemen turnovers allowed Molloy to grab its first lead since the 4:03 mark of the first half as Nolan buried another triple after a Petrucelli steal and McLeod converted two more free ones after his own steal.
Junior guard Mark Coppola (Williamsville, NY/Williamsville South) hit a big three with the shot clock running out for Daemen to pull the Wildcats within one at 73-72 with 2:42 to play.
Molloy ran their lead back to four (77-73) with four straight points by McLeod.
Daemen came back again to cut the deficit to just one (77-76) after Satram converted all three of his free throws when he was fouled shooting a three-pointer deep in the corner with 36 ticks remaining.
Then, after Nolan made one-of-two from the charity stripe, Satram struck again with a three-point shot that momentarily gave Daemen the lead at 79-78 with 15 seconds left.
The Wildcats came up with a defensive stop on Molloy's next possession, forcing a jump-ball in the lane with the arrow pointing the Wildcats' way with under 6 seconds left. That set the stage for McLeod's signature play as he stole the inbounds pass and laid the ball in.
Nolan led the way for Molloy with 21 points, including 4-for-10 from three-point range. McLeod came off the bench and tossed in 19 on 4-for-8 from the field and 11-for-19 from the free throw line. Petrucelli added 13 points and seven assists to the Molloy cause.
Beverly was a beast inside again for Daemen, shooting 9-for-12 from the field and 10-for-14 from the line for his career-best 28 points. He added 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season.
Junior forward Kadeem Johnson (Syracuse, NY/Henniger) doubled up as well with 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Senior Jim Regan (Williamsville, NY/Nichols) added 18 points, four rebounds and three blocked shots as well.
Coppola dished out seven assists and Satram came off the bench to score nine points, all of which came in the final 5:19 of the ball game.
Daemen returns to action next weekend on the road against NAIA foes Taylor (Fri. 11/16 at 7pm) and Indiana Wesleyan (Sat. 11/17 at 3pm).