Jalen Smith hit a fall away three-pointer as time expired in overtime to lift Hilbert to a 89-88 victory over Alfred State on Wednesday evening. The contest featured big runs, electrifying plays, and clutch shots.
The blue & gold connected on their first 10 shots from the field and raced out to a 21-5 lead just 5:30 into the game. The Pioneers led 39-18 with with 6:04 remaining in the 1st half before Hilbert cut into the lead and trailed only by 10, 43-33, at half.
The Hawks continued to put pressure on the Pioneers in the 2nd and took their first lead since the opening minute of the game, 65-64, with 7:04 remaining in the contest. The lead went back and forth the rest of the way. Dante Jordan (New York/Law & Public Service) gave the Pioneers a 80-79 lead with 26 seconds left but Hilbert executed a perfect pick and roll that led to a lay-up by Joseph Braniecki to regain the lead with five seconds left. Braniecki finished the three-point play but Tyrone Davis (Brooklyn/Benjamin Banneker) took the inbounds pass and raced coast to coast to tie it with a lay-up. A three-quarter court heave fell short at the buzzer.
Neither team could get much offense going in overtime. With 12.8 seconds remaining, Davis broke a 86-86 tie with a pair of free throws. After a timeout, the Hawks worked the ball around as the closing seconds ticked off. Hunter Martineau found Smith just above the three-point arc and Smith was able to hit the fall away to win the game. The three was the seventh of the game for Smith.
Jordan led the Pioneers with a career high 23 points and nine boards. Davis finished the day with 14 points, 10 assists, and five boards, Marquis Edwards (Queens/In-Tech Academy) finished with 13, Marcus Rhett (Middletown) had 11, and Juwan Toliver (Buffalo/McKinley) chippedin 10 points, seven boards, and six assists.
The Pioneers shot a blazing 63.3% from the field in the 1st half but cooled down the rest of the way and finished the night shooting 44.9%. The team was 5 for 15 from three but struggled form the line making 13 of 22 attempts. The Pioneers held a slight 43 to 40 advantage on the boards and forced Hilbert into 25 turnovers.
Smith led the way for Hilbert with 29 points on 11 for 18 (7 for 13 from three) shooting. Nicholas Parucki finished with 18, Derrek Carman added 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Braniecki chipped in 10 points and 10 boards off the bench.
Hilbert shot 52.9% from the field for the game (58.8% in the 2nd half). They connected on 10 of their 23 attempts but hit just 5 of their 10 foul shots.
Alfred State is back in action next Friday (2/10) when they host SUNY Canton at 8 p.m.