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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Lightning push ranked team to double overtime

By Andy Gross
Marisol Díaz/The Riverdale Press
Stanley Stephens, No. 51, for the Lehman College Lightning attempts to score against the Colorado College Tigers at the APEX Arena during Saturday’s seventh annual Coaches vs. Cancer Basketball Classic.

The Colorado College Tigers did not come 1,700 miles to the Bronx to lose.

The Tigers, ranked 25th nationally among Division III basketball teams, came roaring back to defeat the Lehman College Lightning 82-75 in double overtime on Dec. 28.

The game was part of the seventh Lehman College Coaches vs. Cancer Basketball Classic to benefit cancer research held last weekend.

The Tigers (6-1) outscored Lehman 11-4 in the final overtime led by 6-foot-6-inch junior Chris Lesnansky and 5-foot-9-inch senior point guard Ryan Milne, who combined for 46 points and 21 rebounds.

“It’s good to have a great quarterback out there,” said Tigers coach Andy Partee, referring to Milne’s leadership in overtime.

After shooting an abysmal 26 percent from the field in the first half, the Tigers, looking slow and out of synch, trailed 33-22 at the half.

Lehman, which plays in the City University of New York (CUNY) conference, shot 42 percent from the field in the first half, including making four of eight from three-point land. They were led by 6-foot-6-inch sophomore forward Jerrome Jones, who scored 12 points, and junior forward Kevan Proctor, who dominated the boards and played tough interior defense.

Colorado went to a zone defense to neutralize some of Lehman’s quickness and athleticism. 

The Tigers crept back into the game and tied it at 49-49 with 8:25 remaining in regulation time as Justin Berardino hit a three-point shot.

The Tigers shot 44 percent from the field in the second half while holding Lehman to 32 percent shooting.

Lehman’s Jones, who scored a game high 30, took 27 shots, some ill-advised.

The lead fluctuated during the rest of the half as neither team could put the other away. 

Both teams had chances to win, but either missed costly free throws or did not execute on offense. 

Lehman, which played an all-out physical, attacking and pressing game, was hurt in the end by a lack of bench depth due to injury and foul trouble.

With Lehman up 62-59, Jones rushed a shot rather than running down the shot clock, giving Berardino the opportunity to convert two foul shots with 47 seconds remaining to bring Colorado within one, 62-61.

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