Mustangs Fall to Widener in Overtime

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Visiting Widener University placed four players in double figures as it outlasted Stevenson University 78-75 in overtime in MAC Commonwealth men's basketball Saturday afternoon at Owings Mills Gymnasium.

Widener (3-3, 1-1 MAC Commonwealth) was led by 19 points and eight rebounds from Nick Jackson.  Elijah Boyd finished with 18 points and seven boards, while Tyler Drews and Connor Laverty added 17 and 13 points, respectively.

Stevenson (4-3, 0-2 MAC Commonwealth) got 26 points from senior Danzel Wright on 8-16 shooting.  Junior Jaylin Johnson and sophomore Kyle Wooldridge each finished with 10 points, while sophomore Mark Terrell added eight points in 12 minutes off the bench.

The Mustangs trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half as they were down 52-41 with 12 minutes to go.  Stevenson chipped away at the lead, outscoring the Pride 19-9 over the next nearly eight minutes to pull within one, 61-60, on a Wooldridge basket in transition on a feed from junior Johnny Rhodes at the 4:17 mark.  Stevenson eventually tied the game 63-63 with 1:09 to go on a conventional three-point play by Wright.

Widener had two chances to go ahead on its next possession but came up empty, with Wright corralling a rebound.  A turnover gave it right back to Widener and a foul by Rhodes sent Boyd to the line, where he missed the front end of a 1-and-1, with Johnson grabbing the rebound with 42 seconds left.  Wright took a three with 12 seconds left that was partially tipped by Jackson, and the Pride took over, but a Drews three attempt at the buzzer was off the mark.

The Pride scored the first six points of overtime to take a 69-63 lead before Johnson got Stevenson on the board with 3:01 left in the extra session.  The Mustangs got the lead down to two, 75-73, with 57 seconds left on a three by Wright.  On the other end, Drews scored with 33 seconds left, but the lead went back to two with 26 seconds to go on a layup by freshman Kobe Colston.

Boyd sank a pair of free throws to again make it a two-possession game with 23 seconds to go, before a pair of free throws by Wright with 16 seconds on the clock halved the lead once again.  Drews was fouled on the ensuing possession and missed his second free throw to leave the door slightly ajar for the Mustangs, but a three-point attempt by Wright as time expired was unsuccessful.

Stevenson trailed 21-18 midway through the first half when it went on a 12-0 run to build a 30-21 lead with 5:17 left before halftime on a basket by Johnson.  Widener held the Mustangs without a field goal for the rest of the half and closed out the first frame on a 12-1 spurt to take a 33-31 lead into the locker room.  The Pride extended the run to 24-3 over the first four minutes of the second half to build an 11-point cushion, 45-34.

Widener shot 47% from the floor and Stevenson 44%, but the Pride went just 11-22 at the charity stripe while the Mustangs were 16-21.  Stevenson outrebounded Widener 38-37, but committed 18 turnovers to 10 for the Pride, with Widener finishing with a 19-14 advantage in points off turnovers.

Stevenson returns to action Wednesday evening when it hosts Lebanon Valley in a 6:00 MAC Commonwealth contest at Owings Mills Gym.