Saturday, February 5, 2005
By Bob Heller
Clayton Barker’s three-point field goal with 1.2 seconds left lifted the New Jersey Institute of Technology Highlanders to a 72-71 over the visiting University of the Sciences in Philadelphia Devils this afternoon.
Barker’s three came on the heels of Gene Willard's (Sr., Cardinal O'Hara HS/ Broomall, PA) basket which gave the Devils a two point lead with six seconds remaining. Willard received a pass from Pete Adams (Sr., Camden Catholic HS/Marlton, NJ) and nailed the 18 foot jumper. The NJIT scoreboard operator originally put three points on the board for Willard’s basket but that was later corrected by the officials. After a quick timeout with 3.7 seconds left, Barker took the inbounds pass from Randle DeFalco and connected from about 23 feet out to put the Highlanders on top. USP could not get a shot off in the final second, giving NJIT the win and leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of the Devils after they fought back from a double digit deficit early in the final period.
The Devils trailed by 14, 49-35 just four minutes into the second period when they went on a 15-4 run to pull within three, 53-50 at the 10:20 mark. Chris Brattelli's (Sr., Highland Regional HS/Clementon, NJ) short jumper started things off and Bill Kurtz (So., Shawnee HS/Shamong, NJ) followed with a two three-point baskets to make the score 49-43. NJIT’s Brett Johnson then completed a four-point play to put the Highlanders back up by 10. Collin Harrington (So., Bishop Eustace HS/Sewell, NJ) and Chris Dougherty (Sr., Haverford HS/Haverford, PA) added baskets and Adams drilled a three-point field goal to complete the run and cut the deficit to three.
After the Highlanders boosted the lead back up to six , USP went on a 7-2 run to pull within one, 58-57 with 7:35 to go. NJIT added two quick baskets to go back up by five, 62-57 before the Devils used an 8-2 run to take their first lead since the opening seconds of the game. Six of the Devils eight points during the run came from the free throw line, with Brattelli’s free throws at the 3:28 mark putting the Devils on top 65-64. The lead changed hands four more time in the waning minutes before NJIT’s Marc Milbourne Swan sank one of two free throws with 37 seconds left to knot things up at 69-69, setting the stage for the final dramatics.
Brattelli led the Devils with 19 points. Kurtz added 15 (five three-point FG) and Dougherty chipped in 10 . Swan led all scorers with 22 points while DeFalco chipped in 17 to pace the Highlanders. Both teams shot over 60% in the second half with the Highlanders holding a 66.7%(14-21) to 60.9% (14-23) advantage. For the game, NJIT shot 58% (29-50) while the Devils shot 53.3% (24-45). USP held the advantage on the foul line, 16-for-21 to NJIT’s 7-for-10. USP held a 24-22 edge on the boards.
The Devils have a long break before their next game as they do not play again until Saturday, February 12, 2005 at Dominican College.