Hawks Win Thriller, Snap Skid Against Terriers
by Phil Kasiecki
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Dan Leibovitz stayed calm, outside of picking up a technical foul at least. That made all the difference for his Hartford Hawks in their 80-75 double overtime win over Boston University.
“It starts from the head coach,” said freshman guard Joe Zeglinski, who scored 22 points to lead the Hawks, several coming on clutch shots. “When we were down 16, he stayed calm, the whole stayed calm. We knew we had a shot the whole time.”
The Hawks’ press had something to do with the Hawks’ comeback as well, especially since the technical foul came before the Terriers were done building their lead. Down 46-28 in the second half, the Hawks forced seven turnovers to ignite a 14-0 run to get back into it. They pressed the Terriers seemingly into submission at times, out-hustling them for steals and loose balls and also leading to some unforced turnovers.
“Every time we’ve come back in a game like this, the press turns the game,” said Leibovitz.
The teams traded spurts of momentum throughout the game. Boston University scored the first eight points, then Hartford scored the next seven. After the Hawks went up 19-13, the Terriers scored the next ten points. In the second half, the Terriers heated up from long range and opened up their 46-28 lead before the Hawks rallied.
The Terriers would later go up 60-51, but back came the Hawks again, and once again turnovers by the Terriers were the catalyst. With 16.1 seconds left, Zeglinski hit a three-pointer from the top of the key to put the Hawks up 61-60, capping a 10-0 run. Brian Macon drove to the basket in the final seconds and drew a blocking foul when he got hip-checked near the basket, then made the second of two free throws to send it to overtime.
In the first extra session, they again went back and forth, with the Hawks looking like they might fully grab the momentum they had before overtime and take it. But Tyler Morris hit a clutch three-pointer to tie it in the final minute, and it was on to the second overtime.
The Hawks forced 23 turnovers and went 25-37 from the foul line to win despite allowing the Terriers to shoot 15-29 from long range and being out-rebounded 43-36. The win snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Terriers, a streak that included some huge blowouts. It also puts the Hawks at 2-0 in America East play, which is a good start for a team picked by most to finish near the bottom of the conference.
Other Notable Games
Oregon 68, UCLA 66: The Ducks knock the Bruins from the ranks of the undefeated. Aaron Brooks capped off a huge 25-point effort with a clutch jumper to win it.
Georgetown 66, Notre Dame 48: If Georgetown’s perimeter players shoot like they did in this game, the Hoyas just might live up to their preseason billing.
Arkansas 88, Alabama 61: A big win for the Razorbacks, as they dominated the Crimson Tide from start (first 14 points) to finish.
Virginia Tech 69, Duke 67 (OT): At first, it looked like Duke might crush the hearts of the Hokies again with a late comeback, as they rallied in the final minute to force overtime. But the Hokies pulled it out in overtime at Cameron.
Clemson 75, Georgia Tech 74: The Tigers are the last undefeated team left with UCLA falling on Saturday. For good measure, it includes a 2-0 ACC start with wins at Florida State and this one, both good wins.
LSU 66, Connecticut 49: The Tigers won this one going away. It’s a game that will hopefully help the Huskies, who are very young and have now only played two road games all season (they have lost both).
Providence 91, Seton Hall 69: The Friars pull away in the second half to improve to 2-0 in Big East play on a night where Dave Gavitt and Joe Mullaney were honored.
Washington State 77, Arizona 73 (OT): The jury was out on the Cougars after a nice non-conference run, although they did beat Gonzaga. Well, they are now 3-1 with this win, and the only loss in Pac-10 play was a three-point setback at UCLA last week.
Boston College 74, NC State 58: Think the Eagles missed Jared Dudley? They went 2-1 without him, but in his return to action, he had a typical day at the office with 20 points and eight rebounds as the Eagles handled the very thin Wolfpack. This game also showed once again how good the Eagles can be when Sean Marshall (23 points, 14 rebounds) plays a good game and is aggressive.
Texas A&M 69, Kansas State 65: The Aggies win the Big 12 opener for both teams by holding off the Wildcats. Kansas State didn’t have Bill Walker for much of the game after a knee injury in the first half.
Northern Iowa 66, Southern Illinois 61: The Panthers continue to not miss a beat, winning this battle of MVC unbeatens to go to 13-2 overall and 4-0 in the Missouri Valley. They are now the only team currently undefeated in MVC play.
Old Dominion 65, George Mason 63: The string has been broken, as the Patriots had alternated wins and losses all season until dropping their second straight on Saturday. The Monarchs, meanwhile, are 3-0 in CAA play.
DePaul 73, Villanova 65: The Blue Demons bounce back from their recent loss at St. John’s with a good road win.
Duquesne 73, Saint Louis 63: This is an impressive win by itself, but even better considering the Dukes were down by 14 points at one point in the first half.
Ohio 77, Akron 72: The Bobcats hold serve at home in a great MAC opener for two teams that should battle it out for the top of the conference.
Princeton 51, Rice 28: Talk about turning the tables. A year ago, it was the Tigers who were scoring in the 20s. They let Rice’s senior star Morris Almond get just eight shots and nine points.
Savannah State 54, Southern Miss 52: Need any more proof that the gaudy record Southern Miss owns means they haven’t beaten anyone? (Okay, they did beat Auburn, at home.)
San Francisco 103, San Diego 100 (2 OT): Antonio Kellogg has found a home. The former Connecticut guard had a career-high 37 points, 35 coming after halftime as the Dons outlasted the Toreros in a dandy West Coast opener for both teams.
UMBC 72, Stony Brook 53: The Retrievers have had trouble winning on the road in recent seasons, so two straight road wins (they won at Binghamton on Wednesday) is a good way to start their America East road slate.
Colgate 73, Army 71 (OT): After a nice non-conference run, Army drops its first Patriot League game.
Loyola (Md.) 75, Iona 66: Iona remains winless, falling to 0-12.