Lafayette Advances to the Patriot League Tournament Championship Game in a Double Overtime All-Time Classic
By: Ethan Hennessy
In the first Double Overtime Patriot League Tournament game since 2017 both teams battled with a chance to play in the Championship against Colgate on Wednesday.
Lafayette and American entered the game as the six and seven seeds respectively with the winner earning the right to travel to Hamilton New York to face once seed Colgate for a championship. Threes on back to back possessions by T.J. Berger and Josh Rivera forced an American timeout nine minutes into the game. Leo O’Boyle surpassed 1,000 career points with a three pointer at the 7:29 mark.
American struggled to score shooting just 23% percent in the first half and Lafayette dropped a barrage of threes. Five different Leopards connected from deep. Lafayette took a 33-17 lead into the break.
American started the second half on a 11-4 run to make up some ground on the scoreboard. Once again though it was Lafayette’s three point shooting that gave them the boost they needed. The Leopards connected on three pointers on four straight drips down the court forcing American’s coach Mike Brennan to call a timeout.
American finally got it to single digits a little above five minutes. Leo O’Boyle said American’s comeback was due to Lafayette not boxing out on the glass. By the time the under four media timeout came the Eagles had cut it to four. American briefly took the lead 59-58. Justin Vander Baan free throw tied it up. American had a chance to win the game with 19.8 but could not convert.
In overtime Matt Rodgers put the first points on the board with a top of the arc three. Justin Vander Baan countered with two free throws on the other end. After American looked ready to wrap it up Lafayette’s ball movement found Leo O’Boyle in the corner to tie it up with 2.9 seconds remaining. O’Boyle said “That was one of those moments you dream about as a kid. You just count down in the driveway, shoot some nonsense maybe it doesn’t go in, but I’ve always thought about those situations as just another shot. I’ve made a few in high school. I haven’t made a big shot like that in here, but its just a three at the end of the day… I’m confident to let it fly.” Matt Rodgers got a good but deep look and his three pointer from the logo drew front rim.
In double overtime both teams were missing their shots early just like in the first overtime. Leo O’Boyle hit a corner three and got fouled he converted the free thrown to put the Leopard up six. Lafayette continued to lead despite American countering each shot. Ultimately the Leopards won advancing to Wednesday night’s Patriot League Tournament Championship game to play #1 Colgate.
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