BROCKPORT, N.Y. -- Just less than a week after one of the most incredible comeback wins in school history, Brockport was on the other end of a comeback as Morrisville State recovered from a 20-point deficit in the second half to win an 83-80 triple overtime thriller Friday night in the first round of the NCAA Division III men's basketball tournament in Jim and John Vlogianitis Gymnasium.
Brockport (24-4) led 36-18 at halftime but surrendered 44 points in the second half as Morrisville (20-8) came all the way back to tie the score at 62-62 forcing the first overtime session. A 3-pointer with a minute left in the first overtime tied the score again at 69-69 and Brockport missed two shots in the last minute as the teams headed into the second overtime period.
The Golden Eagles led 74-73 with two minutes left in the second overtime but Morrisville regained the lead with 1:40 remaining with a jumper and a free throw by Brandon Caruthers tied the game again at 75-75. Brockport had a shot with two seconds left but missed and the teams headed to a rare third overtime.
Freshman Clifton Lyerly hit a 10-foot jumper to tie the game at 77-77 with 3:11 left and senior Bobby Bell drained a long 3-pointer to tie it again at 80-80. Morrisville took a two-point lead with 45 seconds left and after three missed shots for Brockport, Morrisville finally came down with a rebound and sealed the victory with a free throw at the other end of the court.
Morrisville advances to play Hobart who defeated Scranton 94-81 earlier in the night in Brockport.
Brockport had four players in double-digit scoring led by Lyerly who finished with a game-high 23 points. Caruthers scored 13 points, Matt Lee added 12 points and 10 rebounds and Patrick Coyle finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Brockport had all the momentum after the first 20 minutes of action fueled by a near capacity crowd of 2,000 fans. Lyerly hit a layup 27 seconds into the second half to give the Golden Eagles a 20-point lead at 38-18. Morrisville chipped away at the lead and trailed by 15 at 42-27 with 13:52 on the clock.
Coyle hit a free throw for a 16-point lead but Morrisville ran off the next six consecutive points to trim the lead to 10 points with 12:04 left.
Brockport regained the momentum during the next five minutes and led by 15 at 54-39 with seven minutes left. A 13-4 run by the Mustangs over the next 3:30 cut the lead all the way down to six points with 3:31 to play.
Lyerly hit a pair of free throws at the 2:38 mark for an eight-point Brockport lead but Morrisville scored the final eight points of the half to tie the score at 62-62 to force the overtime periods.