The Aces pulled out another quality win on Tuesday evening, knocking off a veteran Springfield Cougars squad 63-56 in overtime. LM battled back from an early eight point deficit and outscored the Cougars 13-6 in the extra frame to seal the win.
Eric Green led all scorers with a career-high 22 points. The burly senior powered his way to the rim for three consecutive buckets during a key 4th quarter stretch that kept the hard-charging Cougars at bay. Darius Hall had another impressive outing on both sides of the basketball, notching a career-high 15 points and helping to contain Springfield’s All-League point guard, Zach Devito. Hall also collected a team-high five assists and three steals. BJ Johnson ’13 came off the bench to score 13 points. Mike Robbins ‘12 (7 points, 3 rebounds), Luke Chambers ’11 (2 points), Mike Buchwald ’11 ( 2 points), and Raheem Hall ’13 (2 points) rounded out the scoring.
Tuesday’s contest had all the makings of a classic, hard-fought Central League battle. The Cougars entered the game winners of eight of their last nine, and have been playing some of their best basketball of the season. The Aces have been more consistent of late, notching victories in four of their last five contests. Both teams have hovered near the top of the league standings all season. It was not surprising to see the game go down to the wire.
After tying the game at 22-22 just before halftime on a Hall three-pointer, the Aces controlled play for most of the second half, but never led by more than six points until the overtime period. Every time LM had a chance to pull away, Springfield seemed to counter. Towards the end of the fourth quarter, both teams traded baskets and Springfield tied the game at 50-50 on a free throw with less than a minute to play. After an empty Aces possession, Springfield had time on the clock for one last shot. In a season where the final minute has been cruel to Lower Merion, luck was finally on the Aces’ side on Tuesday as the Cougars’ final attempt in regulation was a rushed layup that clanged off the front rim.
The Aces scored first in the overtime on a layup by Hall. Robbins scored the next four points to push the lead to six and LM made enough free throws down the stretch to keep things from getting interesting.
The Aces are now 10-3 in the Central League and have moved into sole possession of 2nd place behind Upper Darby. LM has earned double-digit league victories for the eighth consecutive season. Springfield falls to 8-5 in league play.
LM: 6 16 13 15 13 - 63
Springfield: 14 8 11 17 6 - 56