March 7, 2009

 

Courtesy of Salem State

The Vikings (23-6) received game-highs of 19 points and 11 rebounds from senior center Dylan Holmes (Groton, Mass.) en route to a 69-67 victory over Widener University (23-6) in a second round game of the NCAA Division 3 Men's Basketball Tournament played this evening in Chester, PA.

SSC (23-6), who led 42-38 at the half, also received 17 points and nine rebounds from sophomore swingman Nick Linear (Salem, Mass.) and 13 points and 10 boards from senior guard Ricky Ogboin (Boston, Mass.).  The Vikings, who defeated Rochester (NY) Tech, 83-71, in the first round, will face Franklin & Marshall College (PA), 65-63 winner over Brandeis University, in a sectional semifinal round contest on Friday, March 13 at a site and time to be determined.

SSC senior guard Stevie Celestin (Somerville, Mass.), who netted seven points, dished out a game-high nine assists, made a game-best three steals and collected seven rebounds.

Ogboin's layup with 3:18 to play put the Vikings in front to stay as they held off a furious surge by the Pride.  The Vikings looked in good shape after going on a 6-1 run to open a 56-46 lead with 11:34 left in the second half.  Freshman swingman Dan Clark (Deerfield, Mass.) capped the run with a three-pointer. Clark would finish with nine points via three bombs from international waters.

However, the Pride scored nine unanswered points to close to 56-55 with 8:40 tp play.  With the game hanging in the balance and a shot at advancing to the tournament's round of Sweet 16 the prize, Widener grabbed its only lead of the second half, pulling ahead 61-60 with 3:35 left. The Vikings then produced another 6-1 run to go up 66-62 with 1:35 on the clock.  Holmes contributed four points, including a pair of free throws, to fuel the spurt.

With 31 seconds left and the Vikings holding a two point lead (66-64), Holmes hauled in a Pride free throw miss.  Celestin, after being fouled on the ensuing possession, canned a pair of from the stripe with just 24 ticks to make it 68-64.  After the Pride responded with a three-pointer to trim the SSC lead to 68-67, Celestin hit 1-of-2 from the line with 14 seconds left to set up the game's final possession.

The Pride missed a driving layup with 2 seconds to play and a jump-ball situation resulted with the home team having the arrow .  Widener was unable to attempt a last shot to tie or win the contest due to the ball being deflected away by a hungry SSC defense.

The Vikings, who are making the program's 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance, shot 43.5 percent (27-for-62) from the field for the game.  SSC held a 41-36 advantage in rebounds and made five of the 16 three-pointers it attempted.  Ogboin's eight defensive rebounds was a game-high while Holmes's six offensive boards was a game-high.

 This game report courtesy of the Widener University sports information office.

For all 2009 NCAA Tournament information visit www.ncaa.com