Nov. 23, 2010

Courtesy of Skidmore Athletics

BENNINGTON, Vt. -
The Skidmore College men's basketball team beat Southern Vermont 128-123 in an NCAA Division III record SEVEN overtimes. The previous record was five, set four times.

The seven overtimes also ties the longest NCAA games ever played. The Division I record of seven was set in 1981 by Cincinnati and Bradley, while the Division II record was set in 1956 by Yankton and Black Hills.

"Words are hard to describe what I just witnessed," said Skidmore coach Joe Burke. "It was completely a battle of wills and both teams refused to give in. We won the game but really their are no losers in a game like that. Both teams played till complete exhaustion.

"I kept telling the guys as each overtime passed to really enjoy the moment. They will never be involved in anything like that in their lives again, I kept telling them this is fun isn't it? but by the 6th overtime I think that wore out."

John Mantas led the Thoroughbreds with 27 points off the bench. Melvis Langyintuo also came off the bench to score 18 points and pull down 21 rebounds before fouling out. Gerard OShea dropped in 20 points to go along with five assists and four steals. Also in double figures were Brian Lowry with 16, Terron Victoria with 15, and Sakhile Sithole with 14 and 13 rebounds.

Langyintuo sent the game into a second overtime with a free throw with one second left in the first OT. Southern Vermont tied the game late in the second overtime to force a third extra period. In the third OT it was Jeff Altimar to the rescue with a jumper with 10 seconds left to tie the game and send it to OT number four.

Victoria was the hero of the fourth OT with a field goal with two seconds left to send the game into the fifth OT. Nobody scored in the final 1:12 of the fifth OT with both teams missing chances to win it.

Southern Vermont led the entire sixth OT, until Eli Johnson hit a three-pointer, his only points of the game, with 10 seconds to play to send the game into the seventh and final OT.

Skidmore rattled off 16 points in the final stanza for the five point win.

"I am so proud of the effort and toughness of every guy on the team, there were so many times that we could have packed it in but didn't," Burke added. "Guys stepped up all over the place it was something extraordinary."