Wilmington, DE – The Concordia College Clippers men's basketball team battled Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) South Division opponent Goldey-Beacom College in the Quarterfinals of the CACC playoffs on Saturday afternoon. After possessing a nine point lead with seven minutes to play, the Clippers were unable to hold on for the victory as the Lighting came from behind to win 71-67.
Concordia, the #4 seed out of the North Division, entered the Joseph West Jones Center as the underdogs against Goldey-Beacom, the #1 seed out of the South. A week ago to the day these two teams met for a regular season contest in which the Lighting won 82-76.
In the first half, Goldey-Beacom jumped out to the early lead thanks to their three-point shooting. The Clippers would battle back and tie the game at 16-16 after a three-point play by Brandon Whitaker (Harlem, NY). The layup for Whitaker gave him his 1,000th career point as the fans in support of Concordia cheered his accomplishment.
The Lightning would open up a seven point lead as the Clippers took a timeout at the 8:11 mark to regroup. Concordia came out of the huddle scoring 12 straight points to take a five point lead. The Clippers held onto the lead going into the locker room with a 37-34 advantage.
Early in the second half, Concordia continued to keep their lead and eventually held a 10 point advantage following a dunk by Dominique Spann (West Babylon, NY). This quieted the home crowd as the Clippers' fans applauded the play and Concordia now controlled the momentum.
Goldey-Beacom knew that time was running out when the clock displayed seven minutes left in regulation. The Lighting scored seven straight points to trail by only two points as the home crowd got back into the game. Argelix Gil (Brooklyn, NY) made a layup for the Clippers at the 4:28 mark to take a four point lead which would be their last basket of the game.
Goldey-Beacom hit two shots to tie the game at 67-67 with 2:44 remaining. The Lightning got to the foul line with 1:22 on the clock and knocked down both foul shots to take the lead. In Concordia's next possession, they got a shot off in the paint only to have it blocked as Goldey-Beacom regained the ball.
The Clippers had one last opportunity to tie the game but turned the ball over and were forced to foul the Lighting. Goldey-Beacom made both foul shots to take a four point lead with 24 seconds to play. Concordia got off three shots in their least possession but nothing would fall as the Lightning won 71-67 to advance to the CACC Semifinals.
Whitaker led the Clippers with a team-high 18 points and also added two rebounds, two assists and a steal in 36 minutes of playing time. Gil added 15 points and a team-high 12 rebounds while Spann chipped in with 10 points. As a team, Concordia shot 43.5% (27-of-62) from the field as the Clippers allowed 19 second chance points in the game.
Concordia (12-15, 9-9 CACC) has ended the season surprising the conference by making the playoffs. The team was picked to finish in 6th place within the North Division during the preseason and they managed to make the playoffs and ended the regular season in 4th place. Make sure to check back for post season awards and a season wrap up in the upcoming future on ConcordiaClippers.com.