Men’s basketball season ends with overtime thriller

by James Silberman

The men’s basketball team saw its season come to an end on Saturday in a second-round matchup against the University of Texas-Dallas in a 78-77 loss in overtime.

Senior point guard Dustin McConnell began the game with five consecutive points in the opening minute.

However, neither team would be able to build much of a lead in the first half until the Pirates, trailing 28-27, scored the final eight points of the half on a layup and a 3-point play from senior guard Colton McCargar to go along with another 3-pointer from McConnell.

Coming out of the break, Whitworth would extend its lead further after a pair of 3-pointers from sophomore forward George Valle increased the gap. The Bucs would lead by as many as 15 following a bucket from junior forward Taylor Farnsworth with 9:44 remaining in the game.

However, Whitworth’s lead would not hold.

ASWC Player of the Year Kyle Schleigh would score 20 of his 25 points in the second half and 11 of them on a 19-1 Tiger run that would give UT-Dallas a 60-57 lead with 4:21 to play.

The two teams traded buckets to bring the score to 64-61 with 26 seconds remaining.

Then, just like on senior night, McConnell hit a game-tying 3-pointer to send the game into overtime.

Junior Taylor Farnsworth jumps for the ball at the start of the overtime period against UT-Dallas on Saturday. Kelly Logie | Photographer

Whitworth built a lead in the overtime period, and following a 3-point play from Farnsworth, they led 74-68 with 51 seconds left.

But the Tigers would score 10 points in the final minute, including a step-back 3-pointer at the buzzer that ended the Pirates season in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

McConnell led the way for the Pirates with 22 points, five assists and five rebounds. Valle had 20 points to go along with eight rebounds and Farnsworth finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.

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