Garnet Drops Overtime Heartbreaker Despite 36 from Gates
COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Senior Will Gates hammered Ursinus for a career high 36 points and junior Jay Kober added 18 of his 22 in a monster second half as the Swarthmore men's basketball team dropped a 95-90 overtime thriller on Saturday.
Ursinus had no answer for Gates in the paint or on the perimeter as he reached the 30 point plateau for the fifth time in his career and third time against the Bears. His fade-away baseline jumper for the win at the end of regulation did not fall and no foul was given despite heavy contact.
The physical contest, reminiscent of the whistle-filled slugfest between the teams in 2011, featured 57 fouls and 76 free-throws.
The Garnet trailed for just 2:27 of regulation and jumped out to an early 11-2 lead under five minutes into the contest on layups by juniors Joe Keedy and Jordan Federer, a pretty bank-shot by sophomore Karl Barkley, a pair of free-throws from Kober, and a Gates triple, one of four he would hit on the afternoon.
The lead remained seven until the 5:20 mark of the first half when the Bears began to make a run on the back of freshman Malik Draper, who led Ursinus with 33 points on 11-21 shooting. Draper's and-one three from the wing cut the Garnet lead to single digits and a possession later, junior Ryan Adams hit a triple of his own to knot the score at 24.
Neither team could create separation for the remainder of the half. Gates scored six consecutive points for the Garnet to build the lead to 30-26 before the Bears closed the half on a 9-4 run including a Michael Marciano tip-in in the final second to send the homestanders into the locker room with a 35-34 edge.
The Garnet wasted little time regaining the advantage as on the opening possession of the second half, Barkley connected from deep to give Swarthmore a two-point lead. Gates and Kober combined to score nine in a row for Swarthmore over the next four minutes, matched basket for basket by Draper an senior Jon Ward, who finished with 17, leaving the score 46-45 Swarthmore with 15:41 to play.
Over the next two and a half minutes, the visitors ran off a 12-3 run with five a piece from Gates and Kober to open up the largest lead of the game for either team at 58-48.
But the Bears would not go away, and trailing by five with 3:47 to play, finished regulation on a 7-2 run, taking their first lead after halftime on an Adams three with 2:37 left. Kober tied the contest at 82 with :56 seconds remaining and after a Draper miss at the opposite end, the Garnet had a final possession to win it with Gates drawing contact but no call on his release.
Ursinus scored the first five points in overtime before a Barkley hit from deep and Gates free-throw brought the Garnet back within one. In the final minute of overtime and the Bears still up a single point, Draper gathered a critical offense rebound and muscled in a layup with a foul for the dagger. Four Jesse Krasna free-throws and a Federer layup as time expired ended the scoring.
Gates finished with nine rebounds to lead Swarthmore. Federer added 10 points and five assists, and the Garnet shot 27-35 from the stripe including 13-14 in the second half.
Sixteen of Gates' 36 came on free-throws as Ursinus sent the versatile scorer to the line 21 times including twice on vicious flagrants. Late in the first half, Gates, who finished with 1552 career points, passed Garnet legend Ian McCormick '08 for third in program history.
The game marked the second consecutive trip to overtime for the Garnet both on the season and in the series. Four consecutive meetings between the Ursinus and Swarthmore have been decided by five or fewer points.
The Garnet returns to the court on Wednesday when rival Haverford visits Tarble Pavilion at 8PM.