The Berkeley College men's basketball team continued enjoying early-season success on Sunday afternoon, outlasting Central Penn by a score of 107-102 in triple overtime. The contest took place at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in Lower Manhattan. With the victory, Berkeley improved to 5-1 on the year, while Central Penn dipped to 6-7 with its third consecutive loss. Following the win for Berkeley College, Head Coach Jonathan Pena gave his thoughts.
"This was definitely one of the wildest games that I have ever been a part of – and obviously – the most intense game during my first season as the Head Coach," Pena said. "Central Penn – historically – always gives us a good game, and pushes us to our limits. I feel as though both teams pushed one other to their limits and beyond. To be able to capture a victory in a three-overtime game is huge for our team. It helps us build character and it raises our confidence. I'm very proud with the way our student-athletes hung together this weekend and pulled out two hard-fought wins."
Michael Taylor led the way for Berkeley College, as he knocked down six three-point baskets to finish with a game-high 26 points. He also added nine rebounds, tied for the team-high with five assists, and also held a share of team lead in assists with four. Veteran Ricardo Ayuso connected on nine of his 10 shots from the charity stripe to finalize his afternoon with 19 points, and Hall contributed 16 points and three rebounds. Johnnie Green posted a double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds, and Jerell McLeod added 10 points, five assists, and four rebounds.
Central Penn had six players score in double figures, including Joel Zola, as he finished with a team-high 20 points while hitting on eight of his 10 attempts from the free throw line. He also swatted three shots and tallied two steals. Randy Dupont scored 18 points and collected five rebounds while adding two steals and two assists, and Noah Baylor recorded a double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Juwan Gooding, Daylin Davis, and John Blanc scored 13, 12, and 12 points, respectively.
The shooting percentages were nearly even, with Central Penn connecting on 30 of their 78 shots from the floor (38.5 percent) compared to 37.2 percent for Berkeley (32-86). A total of 68 three-point shots were taken in this game, with Central Penn hitting seven of their 30 shots from downtown, while Berkeley drained 11 of their 38 attempts from long range. Central Penn shot 35-for-51 at the line (68.6 percent), while Berkeley converted on 32 of their 44 freebees (72.7 percent). Central Penn out-rebounded Berkeley by a slim margin of 61-56.
With Berkeley College trailing 77-75 with seven seconds remaining, Johnnie Green would misfire on a layup, but he would proceed to collect his own rebound. He would then shovel a pass to a cutting Thaddeus Hall, and Hall would lay the ball in to tie the game with five seconds remaining. It was the second consecutive day that Hall hit a key shot inside the final 10 seconds of regulation. Central Penn had a chance to win in regulation, but Juwan Gooding's three point attempt was off, and the game headed to overtime.
Central Penn scored the first four points of the first overtime to jet ahead by a score of 81-77 with 2:42 to play. 21 seconds later, Taylor would hit a three-point basket to bring his team to within one. Central Penn's Gooding would answer right back, nailing a three pointer of his own to put his squad back up four at 84-80. Later – with Central Penn leading 85-83 with 10 seconds to play, Ayuso would convert on a layup to tie the game at 85 apiece with one second to play in the first overtime session. Central Penn would not get a shot off, and the game moved to another extra session.
With Berkeley College leading 94-92 in the waning seconds of the second overtime, Gooding would convert on a tying jumper with one second to play to knot the game at 94-all. Berkeley College would not have a chance to answer that bucket, as the game then transitioned into a third overtime period.
In the third and final overtime, Berkeley College trailed 97-96, but would outscore Central Penn 11-5 over the final 2:52 of action to close the door on a magnificent 107-102 triple overtime triumph.
Since March 6, 2015, Berkeley College is 5-0 in overtime contests - including a 2-0 mark in triple overtime games.
Berkeley College will now have nine days off before returning to action on Wednesday, December 13, as the Knights will take to the road to battle Five Towns College. Start-time for that contest is scheduled for 8:00pm.