WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Ursinus College men's basketball team (7-4, 2-2 CC) ended its trip to the nation's capital in thrilling fashion. Ryan Hughes played hero once again, draining a three-pointer in the final seconds to send the Bears to overtime against Manhattanville before winning in overtime, 86-82.
Ursinus overcame an eight-point late-game deficit after taking a 40-37 lead into the half. Earlier in the year, it was Hughes who sunk the buzzer-beater to defeat Rosemont. On Sunday, the sophomore once again came up clutch from beyond the arc, tying the game in the final seconds. Hughes scored a career-high 29 points on his way to making the all-tournament team.
The game started back-and-forth with neither team able to separate - a common theme that would be set throughout the rest of the game. After falling behind early, Hughes tallied four straight points to put Ursinus up, 4-3. A Manhattanville three gave the Valiants an 8-7 lead before Lucas Olshelvski put the Bears back in front.
The opening half consisted of four early lead changes.
After going up 11-10, Ursinus seemed to find its footing. Ryan McTamney and Jimmy Kpadeh made consecutive threes to put the Bears up by six and then Hughes sunk a pair of free-throws to give the team its biggest lead of the half at 28-19. The advantage wouldn't last long. An 11-2 run by Manhattanville tied the game at 30 and the Valiants re-took the lead at 32-31. However, after going nearly six minutes without a make from the field, Hughes immediately responded to put Ursinus ahead 33-32 on its way to a 40-37 halftime lead.
Coming out of the break it took all of 49 seconds for Manhattanville to take its fourth lead of the game. The thrilling back-and-forth of the second half mimicked that of the first half. When one team jumped ahead, the other came right back responded. Trailing 44-40, McTamney found netting on consecutive jumpers, including a trey to put Ursinus ahead. Manhattanville came back with a lay-in at the other end before McTamney responded with a lay-up of his own.
Like Ursinus in the first half, this time it was the Manhattanville who finally separated. Tied 56, the Valiants sprung ahead with an 8-0 run to take a 64-56 lead with 8:37 remaining. However, like the Valiants in the first half, the Bears clawed back. McTamney snapped the scoreless run and then a Hughes make from beyond the arc brought the deficit to 68-65. Trailing by four, Kpadeh drained his third three of the night to bring the Bears within one with just one-minute remaining.
A pair of Manhattanville free-throws made it 72-69 with 10 seconds left on the clock. With one last play to send the game to overtime, it was Hughes who tied the scored at 72 off of a pass by Trey Koehler.
Playing its second overtime game this season, the first coming against Haverford, Ursinus fell behind after a Manhattanville three. Ursinus would not trail again. A lay-in from Hughes put the Bears on the board in the extra period and then the sophomore sunk a trey to put his team up 77-75 and took control of the overtime. McTamney then converted on an 'and-one' to go up by five at 82-77.
The Valiants came within two on a pair of occasions, but the Bears were there to respond each time. First, it was Hughes on a jumper before Kohler made one-of-two free throws the second time. Manhattanville missed a pair of shots in the game's final 30 seconds as the Bears hung on to win, 86-82.
With the win, the Bears take their first game of the new decade off of a career-performance from Hughes. The sophomore's career-high 29 points put him on the all-tournament team as he broke the 20-point mark for the fifth time this season. He is 63 points away from career-point number 500.
Also scoring 20 points was McTamney. The senior leads the team in scoring this season. Kpadeh (11) and Gordon (10) both broke double-digits as well.
Ursinus returns to Centennial Conference action on Thursday when it travels to Gettysburg.