BOSTON, Mass. – A phenomenal double-double by Patrick Lowndes and a heroic 19 point effort by Michael Thorpe wasn't enough Tuesday night as the Emerson Men's Basketball Team fell 73-68 in an overtime heartbreaker to St. Joseph's of Maine. The loss ends the GNAC tournament run for the Lions who fall to 15-11 on the year as the Monks improve to 17-9.
The first half saw the Lions in control of things from the start as they shot nearly 40% from the floor as a team, while pounding the boards to out-rebound the Monks 18-to-12 with eight offensive boards alone. Big men Patrick Lowndes and Brian Hurley stepped up for EC in the half each dropping eight points to lead the floor.
Emerson's defense played a key role as well in the half, forcing nine SJM turnovers that they turned into nine points, while they dominated in the paint for 18 points and nine second chance points to edge away from the Monks. SJM wasn't about to let it slip away though as Craig Luschenat checked in and dropped six points, giving Emerson only a 27-20 lead at the half.
The start of the second saw the Lions retain control through the first part of the half, up 41-29 until the Monks composed themselves with about 12 minutes to go, dropping four threes in under two minutes. Steve Simonds and Craig Luschenat led the charge for SJM, as they teamed up to hit 6-for-7 from beyond the arc and put the Monks right back in it.
The Lions seemed to reel afterwards though, as SJM threw a lethal press on EC, forcing nine turnovers in the half, which cost them a brutal 19 points as Emerson saw their lead dwindle. SJM proved to be a whole different team in the second half though as they dropped a wicked 52% from the floor as a team to knot it up 51-51. EC took the lead after that but found it short lived with another three from SJM and a free throw forcing Patrick Lowndes to take a last second shot at the buzzer to tie it and send it to OT.
Overtime saw phenomenal shooting out of both teams with Emerson shooting 46% from the floor, but only to be usurped by SJM's unreal 67% from the floor while hitting 10 of 11 free throws. The fouls would come back to haunt Emerson as they saw SJM pull away by eight in the last 47 seconds which the Lions could only claw back to 73-68 in the final.
The loss ends the Emerson Men's Basketball Team's GNAC Tournament run for the season and they await to hear if they are selected to the ECAC Tournament.