Purple Knights fall in final seconds during first day of Doc Jacobs Classic

COLCHESTER, Vt. - Concordia (N.Y.) College and Franklin Pierce University won contests on the first day of the Saint Michael's College men's basketball team's 33rd DoubleTree Doc Jacobs Classic on Friday evening in Ross Sports Center. Junior Argelix Gil's (Brooklyn, N.Y./Franklin K Lane) lay-in with 5.1 seconds remaining pushed Concordia past the hosts, 66-65, while Franklin Pierce held off Goldey-Beacom University, 63-59.

During the nightcap, the Purple Knights (1-2) and Clippers (3-1) went through three ties and three lead changes in the final 2:05 alone. Sophomore Mike Holton Jr. (Portland, Ore./The Winchendon School) had 15 points on 8-of-8 free throw shooting to go along with five assists, and senior Tom Ward (Brighton, East Sussex, England/Saint Francis [N.Y.]) hit three three-pointers en route to 11 points. Classmate Tyler Schilling (Excelsior, Minn./Minnetonka) and freshman Corey Crawford (Dover, Del./The Phelps School) had 10 points each.

Junior Brandon Whitaker (Harlem, N.Y./Saint Agnes) finished with a game-high 17 points for Concordia, and Gil had 12 points. Junior Lavor Morris (Bronx, N.Y./Lakeland) added 12, and sophomore Norman Pope (Washington, D.C./Saint John's College) notched 11.

After trailing by a 53-43 count following a Whitaker three with 7:36 remaining, the Purple Knights put together a 17-2 run during a matter of 4:07. Holton played a role in the final six points, including dishing off on a Schilling hoop that made it 60-55 with 3:13 left. Ditlefsen broke two ties in the final 1:11, first on a baseline jumper and then with a free throw with 43.8 seconds left, providing a 63-62 cushion. A Gil hoop put the visitors in front at 30 seconds, but Holton knocked down two freebies at 12.5 ticks. After Gil notched his go-ahead bucket in the late stages, Saint Michael's had a good look for a winning shot from the corner that bounced off the rim at the buzzer.

The hosts scored 13 straight points to erase an early 4-0 hole before a 13-2 run by the Clippers put them in front, 27-25, with 3:31 to go in the opening half. However, the Purple Knights scored the final seven points to head into halftime up 32-27. Concordia scored nine straight points to break open a 38-all game, setting up the finish.

In the opener, sophomore Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass./Northampton) had 16 points for Franklin Pierce (3-1), while senior Nigel Van Oostrum (Sheffield, England/Mercersburg Prep) and freshman Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa./Hamden South) each added 15. Junior Eric Jean-Guillaume (Stamford, Conn./Trinity Catholic) had 13.

Sophomore A.J. Picard (Skippack, Pa./Souderton Area) notched 16 points for Goldey-Beacom (0-1), while freshman Marcus Porter (Wilmington, Del./Howard) collected 12.

During another competitive contest, the teams forged 12 ties and 11 lead changes. Goldey-Beacom had a 45-42 edge with 9:20 remaining before Cooper scored seven points in a 11-0 run, making it 53-45 in favor of Franklin Pierce at 6:34. The Ravens never again led by fewer than four points.

The Lightning held an early 10-5 advantage before Franklin Pierce countered with 10 straight points, and the squads played through five ties and two lead changes in the final 9:33 of the opening stanza. Picard's three-point play with 55 seconds to go knotted the game at 26, which is where the teams stood at halftime.

The teams conclude play tomorrow when Concordia and Franklin Pierce square off at 4 p.m., and the Purple Knights host Goldey-Beacom at 6 p.m.