March 5, 2010

Courtesy Medaille Athletics

All seemed to be lost for the Medaille College men's basketball team as they headed into the final minutes of their opening round game of the NCAA Tournament against Nazareth College, trailing the entire way. However, the Mavs would have a different plan, an epic comeback and finish that gives credence to the term "March Madness" as the Mavs prevailed (78-72) in overtime.

It was a game that saw Medaille win despite shooting poorly from all areas of the floor. The Mavs received a monumental effort off the bench from junior Ron Malicki (Machias, NY/Pioneer) who put the team on his back for much of the game en route to a career high (28) points on (10 of 16) shooting, he also matched a team high with (9) boards. The Mavs bench would outscore the Golden Flyer's reserves (32-9) in this one. However, it would be AMCC Player of the Year, Keith Hack (Hopewell Junction, NY/John Jay)(pictured) who would steal the show. Hack had a quiet first half but would shine when things mattered most as he knocked down a deep leaner at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. At first glance it seemed that Hack had won the game with a three but the referee clearly signaled a two point attempt as the ball made its way to the basket. The Mavs had all of the momentum leading into that bucket and kept it in the overtime period (their first of the season) as they rode clutch free throw shooting from Malicki in the extra stanza to the victory. Hack would finish the game with (19) points and (9) boards while a pair of Mavericks, Mike Berkun (Getzville, NY/Williamsville North) and Ben Kopp (Franklinville, NY/Franklinville) each dished out five assists in the contest.

This marks the Mavs first NCAA Tournament win in only their second appearance and it moves them to (24-4) on the year, also a program best. They will face the winner of the Plattsburgh/SUNY-IT first round game tomorrow (3/6) at 7:00pm in Memorial Gymnasium at Plattsburgh State.