KEUKA PARK, N.Y. - The SUNY Poly men's basketball team's first four-overtime game in program history ended in a win for the Wildcats on Wednesday 115-110 over North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) rival Keuka College. The game was tightly played by both teams, with thrilling, last-second ties to end regulation and each of the first three overtimes. The win helps the Wildcats improve their NEAC North Division record to 7-2 which is tied with Morrisville for first place.
Two free-throws by SUNY Poly's LJ Randle (Rotterdam, N.Y.) gave the Wildcats a two-point lead with 15 seconds to play in regulation. By that point, the game had already been a rollercoaster affair with six lead changes and 16 ties in the first 40 minutes. Trailing by two in the closing seconds, Keuka's James Barnes knocked down an unassisted jump shot to tie the game at 73 with five seconds on the clock. SUNY Poly got the ball back but did not have time to attempt a game-winner.
Keuka got out to a six-point lead to start the first overtime, matching their biggest lead of the game. The Wildcats would score on a jumper and a pair of free throws to get the game back within two. The Wildcats trailed by three with 21 seconds left in the first overtime. Kievonn Banks (Rochester, N.Y.) knocked down a layup with nine seconds left to bring the game within a point. In what could have been the game-winning possession for Keuka, Jake Kulakowski (Brewerton, N.Y.) stole the ball from Keuka's Nana Oteng near half-court and dished ahead to Caleb Canty (Hudson, N.Y.) who was fouled on a layup attempt. Canty would knock down one of two free throws to force a second OT.
The Wildcats held the lead in the second OT for all but 26 seconds. Caleb Canty opened the OT with a three-pointer. He was pivotal in the period, scoring nine of the Wildcats 10 points leading to a seven-point lead, the Wildcats largest lead of the game. Two and-one plays and a made free-throw in a minute and 15 seconds brought the Wolves within two points with under five seconds to go in the game. DJ Billings nearly sent the crowd home happy with a clutch three-point basket to give Keuka the lead with four seconds remaining. A foul on the Wildcat inbounds play nearly cost Keuka the lead and the win, but the trip to the free-throw line for Jesse O'Dell () only resulted in one point for the Wildcats, forcing a third overtime.
Caleb Canty's effort in the third overtime for the Wildcats was nearly enough to finally earn the win in the marathon of a game. He again scored nine points in the period, but the Wolves would not give in, tying the game again in the closing seconds of the OT on three free-throws. Devin Milton was awarded three free throws after being fouled on a buzzer-beater from behind the arc. Milton would knock down all three free throws to force the fourth overtime of the game.
The Wildcats were finally able to grab an edge in the fourth overtime. After the Wolves opened the quarter with a bucket, the Wildcats would go on a 10-1 run to take a seven-point with 11 seconds to go in the overtime. This time, it was a seven-point effort by Averi Parker (Harlem, N.Y.) in the period that had the lead change hands for the 11th and final time. The final score was 115-110 in favor of the SUNY Poly Wildcats.
- Caleb Canty led the way for the Wildcats scoring 38 total points. 27 of his points were scored in the overtime periods. He also had three rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a block.
- Josh Gregory (Whitesboro, N.Y.) was a rebound shy of a double-double. He had 17 points, nine rebounds, an assist, and a block.
- Kievonn Banks recorded the only double-double of the game. He had 16 points and an impressive game-high 17 rebounds. Banks also added a pair of assists, a steal, and a block. The 17 rebounds were a career-high for Banks.
- Two other Wildcats posted double-figure points. Jesse O'Dell had 16 points, five rebounds, and three blocks. LJ Randle had 12 points, a pair of boards, and a block.
- Nolan Ivey was Keuka's leading scorer in the game. He had 23 points, eight rebounds, and a pair of assists.
- James Barnes, the hero of Keuka's regulation effort, was a rebound shy of a double-double. He scored 20 points, had nine rebounds, and dished out three assists.
- Devin Milton, the Keuka player who tied the game in the third overtime with three clutch free-throws, finished the game with 16 points, four rebounds, two steals, and a team-high three blocks.
The Wildcats will head to Williamsport, Pa. on Saturday, February 15th for an Inter-Divisional match-up with Penn College. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 1:00 PM. Penn College comes into the game with a 4-8 record in conference play this season.
SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is New York's globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem, formed from the merger of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and SUNY Institute of Technology. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience and nanoeconomics programs at its Albany location and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica/Rome location. Thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world's most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts billions of dollars in high-tech investments and over 300 corporate partners since its inception. For information visit www.sunypoly.edu.