KENT, Ohio – Senior co-captain Jermaine Anderson (Beverly, Mass.) threaded the Elon University (2-8) defense with two seconds of play to lift the University of New Hampshire Wildcats (3-8) into the Kent State Tournament Championship and garner its second straight victory in a thrilling 65-64 victory at the MAC center on Friday.
The Wildcats improve to 3-8 on the season, while the Phoenix falls to 2-8.
Elon forward Chris Chris Chalko drilled a 3-pointer with 1:19 remaining to give the Phoenix a slight 62-59 advantage. Wildcat senior co-captain Blagoj Janev (Sydney, Australia) returned with a three point play of his own when he was fouled on a layup, but missed the foul shot as the Wildcats cut the score to 62-61 with 1:01 left. Janev, who posted 22 points on the afternoon, fired a 12 foot shot to put the Wildcats back into the lead with 21 seconds remaining. Elon junior Brian Waters raced down court and was fouled on a drive to the basket with 10 seconds to go but failed to convert the foul shot from the charity stripe. The Wildcats decided not to call their last timeout as they watched Anderson race down the court to the bucket and made a move to beat his defender and capture the winning basket.
Junior forward Mike Christensen (Reston, Va.), who was named the America East Player of the Game for his 15 points, eight rebounds, two steals and two assist performance. Janev, who notched his eighth game in double digits tallied UNH’s first eight points of the game and tallied 22 for the afternoon. Sophomore guard Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass.) delivered ten points, eight rebounds and four assists, while freshman forward Dan McGeary (Newton, Mass.) shot 2-of-6 from beyond the arc en route to scoring nine points.
The Wildcats shot 21-of-45 (46.7) for the contest, while Elon shot 26-of-58 (44.8%). UNH also held a slight advantage in the rebounding department, 33-29. The Wildcats dished out a season-high 15 assists in the victory.
The Wildcats face the winner of the Shawnee State and Kent State contest for the Kent State Tournament Championship, which will be played on December 30 at 7:00 p.m.