Patriot League Tournament Quarterfinal
March 4, 2005
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Matej Cresnik scored a career-high 30 points and Linas Lekavicius scored the game-winning basket with 4.7 seconds remaining in overtime as American survived a last-second 3-pointer by Navy's Corey Johnson that forced the extra period, to defeat the Midshipmen 85-83 in overtime Friday night in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament at Sojka Pavilion.
The Eagles, which have won 12 consecutive games against Navy, improved to 7-0 all-time in the first two rounds of the Patriot League Tournament.
In a game that featured 13 lead changes and 12 ties, including 11 in the second half and overtime, the Mids evened the score at the end of regulation on a deep 3-pointer by Johnson as time expired. Johnson, who was just 1 of 3 from beyond the arc, had two defenders in his face when he released the ball that tied the game at 77-77.
Lekavicius scored the game-winning basket on a driving finger roll with 4.7 seconds remaining in overtime. That basket followed the fifth 3-pointer of the game from David Hooper with 34 seconds left in overtime that evened the score at 83-83.
Navy used a 9-0 run early in the second half to turn a seven-point deficit into a 52-50 lead behind a pair of 3-pointers from David Hooper. The Mids and Eagles battled the rest of the half as neither team led by more than three points in the final 14 minutes of regulation and overtime.
American made just 5 of 10 free throws in the final 2:06 of regulation to give Navy a chance to tie the game at the end. The Eagles' Jason Thomas grabbed an offensive rebound of a missed jumper in the lane by Linas Lekavicius with 39 seconds remaining and American leading 75-74. He was promptly fouled, but made just 1 of 2 from the line to extend the lead to just two points at 76-74.
Navy's David Rhoiney missed an open 3-pointer with 20 seconds left on the Mids' next possession and Thomas hauled in the rebound and was immediately fouled. He once again made just 1 of 2 to give Navy a chance to tie with a 3-pointer, but Johnson turned the ball over and fouled Andre Ingram right away. Ingram, a career 76 percent free throw shooter, missed both free throws with nine seconds left on the clock. Matt Fannin corralled the rebound and passed to Johnson who dribbled up the court to launch his game-tying 3-pointer.
American, which improved to 2-0 all-time versus Navy in the Patriot League Tournament, made 23 of 32 free throws, including 11 of 13 from Cresnik, who scored 20 points in the first half. Navy made just 16 of 26 from the charity stripe, but did knock down 11 of 25 from 3-point range as Hooper led the way with 5 of 11 shooting. Cresnik made 5 of 9 to lead the Eagles from behind the arc.
Cresnik also had a game-high eight rebounds as American grabbed 40 boards to Navy's 31.
Cresnik led four Eagles in double figure scoring as Raimonda Petrauskas and Ingram each had 13 and Lekavicius added 12. Navy had a pair of 20-point scorers in Fannin and Greg Sprink, who had 16 points at halftime. Hopper added 17, all in the second half and overtime.
American has advanced to the finals of the Patriot League Tournament each of its first three years in the league, and is in the semifinals for the fourth consecutive year. Navy bowed out of the Patriot League Tournament in the quarterfinal round for the fourth straight year.