Springfield, Mass. (February 21) -- Winning five of its final six regular-season games, Assumption came away with a 73-68 win at American International to clinch a Northeast-10 Tournament berth on Tuesday evening at Butova Gym. The Greyhound win, combined with losses by Saint Anselm and New Haven, clinched the NE-10 berth for the Hounds. In addition, the Hounds improve to 6-0 this season in overtime games.
Over the opening half, neither team led by more than five points as the Hounds held a 24-19 advantage with 2:26 left after a three-pointer from Kevin Donahue (Pawcatuck, Conn./Stonington). The Hounds eventually took a 26-25 lead into the halftime break, led by a 12-point, eight-rebound half from captain Tim Beinert (Bellerose Village, N.Y./Holy Cross).
With the game tied at 43-43, the Hounds ignited an 8-0 run, capped by a three from Ronson Quick (Marlton, N.J./Cherokee), to seize a 51-43 lead with 8:17 left in the game. Assumption continued to lead by a comfortable seven-point margin in the final minutes before Sesoo Ikpah nailed a three with 1:02 left to make it a 58-57 Assumption lead and force an AIC timeout. The Hounds used free throws to stretch the lead to 61-57 with 25.1 seconds remaining and the Yellow Jackets inbounded the ball out of a timeout with 21.9 left in the game.
Off the inbounds play, Spencer Braithwhite nailed a jumper with 17.5 left to make it a 61-59 Greyhound lead as the Hounds called a timeout. After an empty Assumption possession, the Yellow Jackets tied the game on a David Campbell layup with 6.6 seconds left, knotting the game at 61-61. The Hounds lost the ball out of bounds with 0.9 left and an AIC shot was wide at the buzzer as the game headed to overtime.
The Hounds jumped out to a quick 66-61 lead in overtime before Braithwhite nailed a three to pull the Yellow Jackets with 66-64 with 1:53 left. A free throw by Quick with just over a minute left and and then a pair from Beinert extended the lead back to five at 69-64 with 55.9 remaining. Beinert nailed four free throws in the final seconds to help the Hounds hold off the Yellow Jackets for the 73-68 final.
Beinert ended the game with a career-high 35 points on 10-for-12 shooting and an impressive 15-for-15 from the free throw line. He also added 11 rebounds for the double-double as the Hounds shot an amazing 76.5 percent from the field in the second half. Quick finished with 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting, while junior point guard Ryan Rozsnaki (Montreal, Quebec/Landstown) posted 10 assists for his 12th double-digit assist game of the season.
With the win, the Hounds end the regular season at 13-13 overall and 11-11 in Northeast-10 play, while the Yellow Jackets end the season at 8-18 overall and 6-16 in the league.
The Northeast-10 Tournament field will be announced later on Tuesday evening.