Men's Basketball Falls Short in Overtime Against Drew, 74-71

Box Score

Montclair, NJ (1/27/09) – Junior guard Mike Mayes (Linden, NJ / St. Mary’s) scored six of his game-high 28 points in overtime as Drew University twice held off Montclair State for a 74-71 victory at the Panzer Athletic Center on Wednesday evening.

Kyle Joyce (Hanover, MA / Xaverian Brothers) added 15 points and five rebounds off the bench as the Rangers won for the third time in their last four outings, improving to 6-12 on the season. The victory was only the fourth for Drew in 22 meetings with Montclair and their first since the 1945-46 campaign when it recorded a 55-53 triumph. Montclair and Drew met just about every season from 1931 until 1959 before taking a 48-year hiatus. The series resumed in 2007 and MSU had won all three contests.

Junior guard Rodney Freeney (Piscataway, NJ / Piscataway) finished with 18 points and five assists for the Red Hawks, who fell below .500 for the first time this season with their seventh straight loss.. Montclair is now 9-10 overall.

Each team held 10 point leads in the game – Montclair’s in the first half as the Red Hawks raced out to a 14-4 advantage before Drew closed to within 30-27 at the half on a three-pointer by Joyce as the half expired. That would ignite a 23-7 run by the Rangers through the first eight minutes of the second half as Drew went up 47-37 on a Mayes’ layup with 12:27 to play

Montclair State would cut away at the deficit getting it down within three on several occasions and eventually took the lead with 1:38 to go as Freeney drained a three-pointer. The teams traded possessions and Drew had the ball inside the last half-minute. Mayes fed Joyce on the wing from 22 feet out. He side-stepped a leaping defender and buried a three-pointer to put the Rangers ahead 60-58 with 24 ticks on the clock. Back came Montclair State with a three of its own as John Byrne (East Brunswick, NJ / East Brunswick) hit from behind the arc to give the lead back to MSU 61-60 with 11 seconds to go. Mayes then was fouled with three seconds left, but only hit one leaving the game tied at 61-61.

The Red Hawks would get one last chance with three-tenths and nearly pulled it off however Daniel McRae’s (Orange, NJ / Newark Tech) tip-in attempt went just off the mark and the game headed into overtime.

In the extra period, Drew scored the first six points to take a 67-61 lead on Mayes’ layup with 3:01 left. A three-pointer by Tom Bonard (Westfield, NJ / Westfield) got MSU within 69-68 with 1:23 left. Even Elberg (North Caldwell, NJ / West Essex) hit two free throws for a five-point lead, 73-68 but Byrne hit another three as Montclair trailed 73-71 with 11 seconds left. Drew then committed an inbound violation giving MSU the ball with 8.7 seconds to go.

Freeney got an open look behind the arc however his ball rattled out with McNeil Wrice (Riverside, NJ / Riverside) getting the rebound with one second left. Wrice hit one foul shot for the final margin.

Mayes added five assists and three steals as he converted 10-of-13 (77 percent) from the free-throw line. He had entered the game shooting just 47 percent at the charity stripe. Lucas Levenson (Margate, NJ / Atlantic City) added nine points and eight points with Terrell Brown (Camden, NJ / Woodrow Wilson) chipping in with six points, nine rebounds and six assists.

Byrne and Bonard each had 14 points for Montclair State while McRae added six points and a game-high 10 rebounds.  He also blocked two shots as he ran his season total to 51, the sixth-best single-season total.
 
Both teams are back in action with road conference contests. Montclair State is at Rutgers-Camden on Saturday, January 30 for a 3:00 pm NJAC matchup with the Scarlet Raptors. Drew is out in Bethlehem, PA on Friday, January 29 in a 7:30 Landmark Conference game at Moravian.