HAVERFORD, Pa. – Despite another prolific outing from Ryan Hughes, the Ursinus College men's basketball team was unable to maintain a 10-point second-half lead and fell on the short end of a 94-88 overtime thriller at Haverford in Tuesday's Centennial Conference opener.
Hughes scored 27 points – his fourth game already with at least 25 – and knocked down two clutch free throws with 12.6 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into an extra session. The sophomore knotted the contest again with a basket through contact early in overtime, but Jesse Turkson knocked down a corner 3 on the other end and the Fords stayed in front for good.
Ryan McTamney finished with 19 points for the Bears (4-2, 0-1), who stormed out to a 19-8 lead midway through the first half. Haverford responded with a mini-spurt of its own and got as close as three in the opening frame before Hughes' conventional three-point play helped Ursinus go up 35-28 at the break.
The Fords (4-1, 1-0) closed to within 37-33 early in the second stanza, but George Gordon kicked out to Jimmy Kpadeh for a 3-pointer before canning a mid-range jumper to cap a 7-1 run and make it 44-34 with 17:05 to play.
Jonathan Lang's trey evened the spread at 48-all with 12:57 left, but Trey Koehler came right back with one of his own to restore the upper hand and the Bears continued to keep the hosts at arm's length until the final minutes.
Leading just 71-68 after a Turkson 3, Ursinus doubled the margin on another three-point play by Hughes with 3:27 left. The Fords answered with a deuce, but Gordon – in front of a personal cheering section clad in shirts that spelled out his name – connected on a jumper from the top of the key.
Haverford buried back-to-back triples to tie it and grabbed a 78-76 lead on two free throws by Turkson with 1:23 remaining, only for Hughes to snare an offensive rebound, get fouled, and convert both freebies to bring another deadlock at the 1:14 mark. Turkson slithered through the lane for a lay-up and the Fords looked set to ice the game after a Bears turnover, but two straight missed free throws opened the door. Hughes grabbed the board on the second miss and put his head down, drawing contact and hitting both from the stripe. Haverford had a chance to win at the buzzer, but Turkson's NBA-range 3 was well off.
McTamney fouled out on an offensive foul on the first possession of OT, and Turkson's corner 3 kept Haverford ahead to stay.
Turkson carried the Fords with 26 points on 10-of-18 shooting, also pitching in eight rebounds, four steals, and three assists. All five Haverford starters scored in double figures, and each had at least five rebounds.
The Fords were even with the Bears on the boards (38-38) and were a nearly automatic 27 for 31 from the foul line.
Hughes wound up 9-of-19 from the field but missed all five of his 3-point attempts. He was 9-for-14 from the line, adding nine rebounds and five assists.
Gordon paired 11 points with six rebounds and Kpadeh tallied 10 points and five assists. Bruce Edwards produced nine points.
Ursinus plays at home for the first time next Wednesday, when No. 1 Swarthmore comes to Helfferich Hall.