O'Connor Sinks Buzzer Beater to Lift W&L to 87-84 Overtime Win
LEXINGTON, Va. — Junior forward Patrick O'Connor (Richmond, Va./Douglas Freeman) sank a game-winning 42-foot three-pointer as time expired in overtime to lead the Washington and Lee men's basketball team to an 87-84 victory over Roanoke on Saturday in the Warner Center.
The Generals (2-3, 1-1 ODAC) trailed 70-65 with 2:04 left in regulation. Sophomore forward Andrew Franz (Charlotte, N.C./Ravenscroft) split a pair of free throws at the 1:51 mark to cut the deficit to four. After an empty possession for each team, Franz stole the ball from junior guard Julian Ramierz (Pallmyra, Va./Fork Union) and made a layup to bring W&L within two, 70-68.
The Blue and White forced another turnover, but gave the ball right back to the Maroons (2-3, 0-1 ODAC) with 54 ticks on the clock. Ramirez was fouled, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Senior guard Kevin Gill (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) netted a triple on the ensuing possession to give W&L a 71-70 lead with 38 seconds left.
Roanoke regained the lead with 23 seconds to go on an old-fashioned three-point play by junior forward Daniel Eacho (North Chesterfield, Va./Monacan). The Generals pushed the ball up the floor and O'Connor hit a turn-around jumper with 11.5 remaining to tie the game at 73-73. Ramirez missed a layup with three second on the clock to send the game to overtime.
O'Connor opened the scoring in the extra period with a triple to take a 76-73 lead. The Maroons tallied the next six points to grab a 79-76 advantage with 2:47 left. O'Connor responded with a layup to cut the lead to one, 79-78, and the team took the lead, 81-79, on a three by Franz with 1:35 on the clock.
Ramirez trimmed the deficit to one, 81-80, by splitting a pair of free throws, but Franz extended the advantage to three by making two from the charity stripe with 29.6 seconds remaining. RC was fouled on a rebound with 15 seconds left and first-year guard John Fitchett (Williamsburg, Va./Lafayette) made both to close the gap to one (83-82).
First-year guard Andy Kleinlein (Chesterfield, Mo./Chaminade College Prep) was fouled with 9.7 on the clock, but only made one of two. Ramirez raced down the floor and tied the game at 84-84 on a layup with 4.2 left. O'Connor received the in-bounds pass and hurried across the timeline. The junior gathered the ball and drilled the three from just inside half court to send the Generals home with the victory.
O'Connor finished the game with a career-high 17 points. He also totaled six rebounds and five assists. Franz led W&L with 23 points on 8-of-15 from the field. He also had six rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Senior forward Drew Kimberly (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Ludlowe) notched his third double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Gill added 11 points. The Generals shot 46.9 percent (30-64) from the field, 38.5 percent (10-26) from long distance and 65.4 percent (17-26) from the foul line.
The Maroons had five players in double figures with Ramirez leading with 18. He also registered nine assists, five steals and three rebounds. Eacho recorded a double-double with 15 points and 12 boards. Junior forward Andrew Daniels (Fairfax, Va./Oakton) tallied 17 points, Fitchett netted 10 and sophomore forward Seth Bradley (Covington, Va./Allegheny) had 11. Roanoke shot 32-of-70 (46.9 percent) from the floor, 11-of-27 (40.7 percent) from behind the arc and 9-of-15 (60.0 percent) from the charity stripe.
It marked the first overtime victory for the Generals since they defeated Juniata in double overtime, 93-89, on December 30, 2011.
W&L returns to action on Wednesday when it travels to Randolph-Macon for a 7:00 pm game.
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