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 IMG_4200BY JEFF FALK

ANNVILLE – They’re anticipating big things in Annville this winter.

But that doesn’t mean the Lebanon Valley College men’s basketball team is going to play well every time out. Or even that the Flying Dutchmen are going to win every time when they do.

On Tuesday night at Lou Sorrentino Gymnasium, Lebanon Valley was out played by undefeated Misericordia during a 90-85 overtime setback. After the Flying Dutchmen had erased an early-second-half 17-point deficit, the Cougars outscored LVC 14-9 over the five-minute overtime session.

Actually, it was Misericordia’s Jason Kenny who tied the game at 76, on a bucket with four seconds remaining in regulation, after the Flying Dutchmen’s rally had produced a handful of one-possessions edges down the stretch. Lebanon Valley led once in overtime – at 83-80 on a three-pointer from Andy Orr 1:41 into the session – before the visitors outscored the home team 10-2 the rest of the way.

IMG_4110The outcome dropped Lebanon Valley to 2-2 in the early going. Misericordia improved to 4-0.

“We played well tonight,” said Brad McAlester, Lebanon Valley’s veteran head coach. “But we can’t play like we did in the first half. We had chances and they’re (the Cougars) undefeated. We need to play like that the whole game. But we’re not there yet. I thought the two guys off the bench (Ricky Bugg, Collin Moore) did a great job.

“They’re (the Cougars) a good team,” continued McAlester. “It’s not like we lost to someone who’s not good.”

With 2:26 left in regulation, the Flying Dutchmen took their first lead since the opening minutes, when Will Boccanfusco stroked a couple of free throws. Lebanon Valley also enjoyed leads of 71-69 on a jumper from Boccanfusco 50 seconds later, 74-71 on an off-balance, shot-clock-beating three-pointer from Moore with 49 ticks showing and 76-74 thanks to a Boccanfusco lay-in with 13 seconds left.

But it was Kenny and the Cougars who had the final say.

IMG_4148“Either side makes a play and they win the game,” said McAlester of crunch time. “At the end of the game, we had some chances. But I’m proud of the guys for never stopping.

“We might have run out of gas a little bit,” McAlester continued. “We had two games in-a-row and then a day of rest. But I can’t say that’s the reason why we lost. It’s just the way it goes.”

Misericordia’s biggest lead of the night came at 51-34, 3:20 into the second half. And it required not one but two Flying Dutchmen runs to come all the way back.

Over the next three minutes, Lebanon Valley outscored the Cougars 14-1 and pulled to within 52-48 on a Bugg jumper. Bugg was just one of five Flying Dutchmen to net points in the burst.

Then midway through the second stanza, the Flying Dutchmen embarked on nine-minute, 21-8 journey that culminated with Boccanfusco’s foul shots.

“We were down 17,” said McAlester. “We didn’t quit. We came back. You get in a rut. When you start rolling, the basket looks like it’s three-feet wide. And when you’re not, it seems like there’s a lid on it.

“These guys know how to win,” added McAlester. “They fought.”

The Flying Dutchmen were led on the stat sheet by Orr, a junior center who poured in a game-high 32 points, including the 1,000th of his career in the second half. Orr was 11-for-11 at the charity stripe and three-for-five from beyond the arc.

He was supported by Northern Lebanon product Sam Light’s 17 points, and Boccanfusco’s 11 points and 15 rebounds. But Lebanon Valley made only 38 percent of its shots from the field overall, compared to 53 percent by the Cougars.

IMG_4177“Andy played tremendous,” said McAlester. “He gets beat up all the time. Everybody double teams him. He’s good right now. He’s improved a lot. He’s now starting to go by guys. He’s more vocal. He demands the ball. He’s more of a leader.

“That’s Sam’s game,” added McAlester. “He’s emotional. Sometimes it goes his way and sometimes it doesn’t.”

With the score tied four minutes in, Misericordia ripped off six unanswered points to assume a 13-7 advantage. The Cougars’ lead would expand to 36-24, before Light and Bugg drained jumpers to close out the first half.

“I thought we did well defensively,” said McAlester. “But not as well in the first half as the second. The problem in the first half was our offense. But they’re (the Cougars) tough. They’ve got a lot of guys who can score. And they hit some big shots.

“Things have been going good,” continued McAlester. “We have some new guys and we have some young guys. This is the first game that Sam didn’t play well. In the first three games, he played great.”

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IMG_4021To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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2016-17 Lebanon Valley College Men’s Basketball Schedule

DATE OPPONENT LOCATION TIME/RESULT
11/15/2016 George Mason University Fairfax, Va. L 65-90  
 
Penn State Mont Alto Annville, Pa. W 85-70
 
11/20/2016 Wesley College Annville, Pa. W 58-53  
 
11/22/2016 Misericordia University Annville, Pa. 7:30 p.m.  
11/27/2016 Franklin & Marshall College Annville, Pa. 4 p.m.  
11/30/2016 * Widener University Annville, Pa. 8 p.m.  
12/3/2016 * Alvernia University Reading, Pa. 3 p.m.  
12/7/2016 * Stevenson University Annville, Pa. 8 p.m.  
12/10/2016 * Hood College Frederick, Md. 3 p.m.  
12/17/2016 Cairn University Annville, Pa. 3 p.m.  
12/19/2016 Elizabethtown College Elizabethtown, Pa. 7 p.m.  
12/28/2016 Brooklyn College Daytona Beach, Fla. 7 p.m.  
12/29/2016 Clark University Daytona Beach, Fla. 9 p.m.  
1/4/2017 * Lycoming College Williamsport, Pa. 8 p.m.  
1/7/2017 * Albright College Annville, Pa. 1 p.m.  
1/11/2017 * Arcadia University Glenside, Pa. 8 p.m.  
1/18/2017 * Messiah College Annville, Pa. 8 p.m.  
1/21/2017 * Alvernia University Annville, Pa. 4 p.m.  
1/25/2017 * Stevenson University Stevenson, Md. 8 p.m.  
1/28/2017 Alumni Game Annville, Pa. 11 a.m.  
Hot Dog Frank Day
1/28/2017 * Hood College Annville, Pa. 2 p.m.  
2/1/2017 * Widener University Chester, Pa. 8 p.m.  
2/4/2017 * Albright College Reading, Pa. 4 p.m.  
2/8/2017 * Arcadia University Annville, Pa. 8 p.m.  
2/11/2017 * Messiah College Grantham, Pa. 5 p.m.  
2/14/2017 * Lycoming College Annville, Pa. 8 p.m.  
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2016-17 MAC Commonwealth Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll
1. Lycoming – 61 (6)
2. Lebanon Valley – 58 (3)
3. Arcadia – 46
4. Alvernia – 43
5. Albright – 34
6. Widener – 27
T7. Stevenson – 23
T7. Hood – 23
9. Messiah – 9
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