Ben Gingery led the Sigma Alpha Chi Spartans to a 50-47 overtime victory over the Phi Kappa Pi Rams 50-47 Friday night.
Gingery drained a three-pointer as time expired in regular time to tie the game, and the Spartans would go on to win in overtime, overcoming a 15-point deficit and a 19-point performance from the Rams’ Micah Gold.
Both teams started out slow offensively, but the Spartans’ defense cracked first, and the Rams’ offense began to find the basket. Gold became a key cog in the Rams’ half-court offense, as he attacked the rim repeatedly.
On defense, the Rams set up in a 2-3 zone, daring the Spartans to beat them from behind the arc. The zone proved to be effective, as the Spartans missed several long-range attempts early, and the Rams pulled out to a 20-10 lead with 6:22 left in the first half.
Despite a timeout, the Spartans could not capitalize on offense, and the Rams took a 26-16 lead into halftime.
The second half looked as if it would be similar to the first, as Gold opened with a long three on the first possession. However, the Spartans’ Evan Fisher countered with a three of his own, sparking a small Spartans’ run to narrow the gap to 39-26. The Rams responded, forcing the Spartans to take a timeout down 43-30 with just 7:37 left in the game.
The timeout proved to be effective, as the Spartans began to slowly chip away at the lead. With 2:45 left, the Rams lead had dwindled to just seven. The Rams’ usually potent offense suddenly turned stagnant and one-dimensional, letting the Spartans capitalize and narrow the gap to just three with 40 seconds left.
Up by just three, the Rams were unable to find a basket, and the Spartans called a timeout with 15.9 seconds. If the Spartans tried to run a play, it did not work as planned, but Gingery hit a wild three-point shot from well beyond the arc to send the game into overtime.
The comeback seemed to demoralize the Rams, and the Spartans jumped out to a quick lead after converting a Rams’ turnover into a fast-break layup. The Rams were down by only three, however, and called a timeout with 19.9 seconds left in overtime. They hit a quick layup, but were unable to overcome the deficit. The Spartans finished off the come-from-behind win with a final score of 50-47.
Afterwards, Gold blamed selfish play as the reason for the Rams’ collapse.
“I think we were too selfish,” Gold said. “We tried to go one-on-one with them, and it didn’t work out for us.”
The Spartans are now in a four-way tie for first place in the National League with Beta, Omega and the Royals. Beta currently bests the other three with a +72-point differential.