After a thrilling 95–94 victory against Medgar Evers College in the first round of the Eastern College Athletic Championship on March 3, the men’s basketball team continued its theatrics March 5 with an 86–83 semifinal victory against Rutgers-Newark University.
Sophomore guard Marc Rozynes-Chasin led the Bombers with 27 points, while senior guard Sam Bevan led the team with nine assists in the Golden Dome in Newark, New Jersey.
The victory ensures the Bombers a spot in the championship game and was the second consecutive victory for the South Hill squad since being eliminated from the Empire 8 Conference playoff.
Unlike their last game against Medgar Evers where the Bombers went back and forth with the Cougars, Rutgers-Newark did not give the Bombers the same courtesy. The Raiders controlled the majority of their play against the Bombers with the Bombers only having the lead in the first half for 15 seconds.
That lead came on a layup from freshman guard Peter Ezema for the first basket of the contest, after that it was all Raiders. The Raiders went up by as many as 11 points before the Bombers went into the half down 43–34 deficit.
In the second half, the Bombers were still down by double digits, but kept the game within a manageable distance. Then, with just over six minutes to go in the game, the Bombers went on a desperation run.
Starting with a layup by sophomore guard Carroll Rich, the Blue and Gold went on a 14–4 run in the final minutes of the semifinal matchup to take 80–79 with 1:02 remaining in the contest.
After Rutgers-Newark senior forward Jordan McDaniel hit one of two free throws, Rich on the ensuing possession converted a jump shot that gave the Bombers a two-point lead with 26 seconds to play in the game.
After Chasin made two free throws and Raiders senior guard John Snow hit a 3-pointer with fewer than 10 seconds left, the Raiders fouled Chasin, allowing the 6’4” guard to make two more free throws to extend the Bombers’ lead to three points.
But it was Bevan with the steal and two seconds remaining that secured the victory, preventing the Raiders from attempting a game-tying 3-pointer and upsetting the 20–7 Rutgers-Newark squad.
With their triumph over the Raiders, the Bombers will advance to the championship game at 3 p.m. March 6 in the Golden Dome, where they will play New Jersey City University to determine the champion of the ECAC Championships.