Albany, NY – The Concordia College Clippers men's basketball team faced off against non-conference opponent St. Rose College in their first game of the season this evening. The Clippers traveled to the state capital for the two-day St. Rose Tournament as the Clippers shocked the #20 ranked Golden Knights 83-82 in overtime.
Concordia began the game knowing that it's a new season and if they want to make a statement early, their match against St. Rose would be a perfect opportunity. After being picked to finish 6th in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC), the Clippers prepared for this weekend's games and tonight it all paid off.
Concordia held a slim margin for a majority of the first half until the Golden Knights tied the game at 14-14 midway through. After a quick timeout by the Clippers, they went on a 22-12 run to take a seven point lead into the locker room.
St. Rose came out in the second half scoring on all cylinders as they made their first four shot attempts to regain the lead. Neither team could gain a sizeable lead as Concordia only had a four point lead with three minutes to play in the half.
After two free-throws by the Clippers with under a minute to play, the Golden Knights found themselves down by three with only seconds left. Kareem Thomas (Queens, NY) drilled a three-point basket to tie the game and sent the game into overtime.
In the overtime period, Concordia could only manage to take a three-point lead as St. Rose still stuck around. After sophomore Norman Pope (Washington, D.C.) made one-of-two free throws to give the Clippers a two point lead, the Golden Knights called a timeout with only 26 seconds to play.
On the ensuing possession, senior Brian Hanschak (Cumberland, RI) turned the ball over for St. Rose and had to foul junior Brandon Whitaker (Harlem, NY). After Whitaker sank both his free throws, Concordia had a four-point lead with eight seconds to go. A three-point buzzer beater by the Golden Knights would conclude an exciting game as the Clippers were able to pull off the upset.
Whitaker led Concordia with 26 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field. Junior Argelix Gil (Brooklyn, NY) recorded a double-double as he finished with 12 points and 18 rebounds. As a team, the Clippers shot 45.9% (34-of-74) from the field causing the Golden Knights to commit 16 turnovers. The bench for Concordia outscored St. Rose's bench 42-24.
The Clippers (1-0, 0-0 CACC) will next face St. Anselm College tomorrow afternoon. Concordia will take the court at 2pm as they look to win their final match at the St. Rose Tournament.