RICHARDSON, Texas -- Junior guard Nolan Harvey drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key as time expired in overtime to give No. 16 Texas-Dallas team a 78-77 win against No. 12 Whitworth in the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament. The Comets are heading to the Round of 16 for the third time in program history and first time since 2010.
Harvey's game winner came at the end of a 6-0 run by the Comets as UTD trailed Whitworth 77-72 with 27 seconds left to play. Harvey hit one of two free throws with 18 seconds remaining to draw UTD within five points. After a steal, Kyle Schleigh was fouled and hit two free throws with nine seconds left to cut the lead to two points. After a missed free throw by Whitworth's Christian Jurlina, Dmitriy Chernikov snagged the rebound as Ryan Smith found Harvey at the top of the arc for the win.
Schleigh finished with a game-high 25 points while Harvey and Chernikov each had 16 points. Chernikov recorded his second double-double of the postseason, grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds while Schleigh UTD with six assists and eight steals, one shy of the school record.
The extra frame would not have been possible if not for a 16-0 run by the Comets late in the second half.
Thanks to a buzzer-beater of their own, the Pirates held a 35-28 lead at the break and seemingly could not miss a shot in the second half, hitting seven consecutive shots early in the period. With 9:04 left in regulation, Whitworth grabbed a 57-44 lead after a free throw by George Valle.
A layup by Harvey with 7:35 left to play ignited the Texas-Dallas run. Schleigh was fouled on a deep 3-point attempt and hit all three free shots to trim the deficit to double digits, 57-49, with 6:52 on the clock. UTD answered the next four scoreless possessions by the Pirates with buckets by Schleigh, Chernikov and Carter Nash capped by a go-ahead 3-pointer by Schleigh with 4:21 left, lifting UTD to a 58-57 advantage.
The Comets added two free throws by Harvey on their next trip down the floor to grab the first of three three-point leads down the stretch as the two teams combined for just 12 points in the final four minutes. Whitworth did not lead for the remainder of regulation but Pirate guard Dustin McConnell tied the game with 19 seconds left on a deep 3-pointer from the left side. The Comets' attempt at winning in regulation fell short as Schleighs' layup off the glass as time expired bounced out.
The Pirates (23-6) scored the first five points of the overtime period and grabbed a six-point lead twice in the frame, the last coming with 38 seconds left, 76-70. Matthew Medell drew the Comets within four points with 34 seconds remaining with a layup and after the two teams traded a free throw each, Schleigh trimmed the deficit to 77-75 after his final steal with nine seconds on the clock. The Comets were then forced to foul on the Whitworth in-bounds pass, sending Jurlina to the line for the first time of the night.
The Comets shot a season-low 34.9 percent (22 of 63) from the field, hitting 6 of 18 3-pointers (33.3 percent), and were 28 of 38 (73.7 percent) from the foul line. After a rough first half, Schleigh finished the night 6 of 21 from the floor, hitting a pair of 3-pointers, and was 11 of 13 from the free-throw line. Harvey was 5-for-7, going 2-for-3 from outside.
For Whitworth, McConnell finished with a team-high 22 points, 18 of which came in the first half. McConnell's only second-half field goal sent the game into overtime. He finished 7-for-11 from the floor, hitting 4 of 6 treys, and was 4-for-5 from the line. Valle had 20 points, Taylor Farnsworth had 15 points and Colton McCargar added 10 points. Valle and Farnsworth both had a team-high eight rebounds. The Pirates shot 54.4 percent (31 of 57) from the field, hitting 8 of 20 3-pointers (40 percent), and were 7 of 12 from the foul line. All five free-throw misses by Whitworth came in the second half or overtime.