NEWPORT, R.I. - Salve Regina sophomore guard Barrett Hanlon (Hopkinton, Mass.) drove the length of the court to sink the game-winning layup and seal an 81-79 victory over Curry College in overtime.
Curry was led by senior Lambros Papalambros (Quincy, Mass.), who poured in 29 of his game-high 31 points in the last 25 minutes. The Colonels shot 41.9% from the field and relied heavily on their fast break offense to create points off turnovers to get back in the game. Curry's defense forced 11 steals and scored 21 points off those turnovers.
The game got off to a fast start with both teams trading baskets inside the paint. The score was tied eight times throughout the game, and there were seven lead changes.
Senior Jeff Bielefeld (Littleton, Mass.) anchored the Salve Regina scoring attack with 16 of his career high 24 points in the first half, hitting six of his first seven attempts from the floor. Fellow senior Joshua Hohlfelder (Noank, Conn.) hit both of his 3-point attempts to bolster Salve Regina's lead, the second coming at 3:19 in the first (35-27).
Salve Regina passed the ball with precision and tallied seven assists, finding the open lanes and converting on layups and back door cuts to the basket. The Seahawks led Curry 41-33 at the half.
The game had a physical tone throughout, as both teams frequently found themselves at the free throw line and combined to shoot 64 free attempts. Both teams shot over 60% for the game from the charity stripe and relied heavily on getting the ball inside and initiating contact.
Senior Patrick Dinneen (Medfield, Mass.) hit his only 3-point basket of the game with 14:07 remaining to give Salve Regina a 58-42 advantage and the 16-point lead was its largest of the game. Curry College answered by going on a 28-12 run to tie the game at 70 with 2:58 remaining to play.
After a Bielefeld layup and a successful trip to the free throw line by Scott St. Lawrence (Litchfield, N.H.), Salve Regina had a two-point lead (74-72 with 1:35 remaining in regulation) . Curry's Alex Kershaw (Boston, Mass.) answered with a 3 point basket to take the lead right back.
Dinneen tied the game at 75, getting one of his two free throw attempts to fall in the last 30 seconds of regulation. A missed layup by Curry forward Matthew Russell (South Portland, Maine) at the buzzer sent the game into the overtime period.
Salve Regina missed their first three attempts from the field in OT, and Curry junior guard Antonio Jones (Dorchester, Mass.) lay in a finger roll to give the Colonels an advantage with 3:49 to play. Both teams went without a single point for the next two minutes until Bielefeld tied the game at the charity stripe with 1:56 to play. Curry's Papalambros took possession and scored over two Salve Regina defenders with 38 seconds to play.
After a Salve Regina timeout, Hanlon took the ball straight to the rim and finished his layup with just 19 seconds to go. Curry's last possession ran through Papalambros, and he missed a mid-range jumper that landed in the hands of Hanlon.
Hanlon took the ball with about five seconds left to play, pushed the ball up the court and scored the game-winning layup with 0.5 seconds on the clock. A Salve Regina timeout ensued and the final in-bounds pass was broken up by St. Lawrence to seal the victory for Salve Regina.
Double-digit scorers for the Seahawks included Bielefeld (24), Dinneen (16), Hanlon (13). Both Dinneen and Hanlon recorded double-double efforts, with Dinneen setting career highs in rebounds (15) and assists (six).
Double-digit scorers for Curry include Papalambros (31) and Jones (14).
Bielefeld, Dinneen and Hohlfelder were joined by their classmates Joshua Fuhrmeister (Bonn, Germany) and Alex Pratt (Nashua, N.H.) in a pre-game ceremony honoring the five seniors. All five seniors saw playing time during today's action.
Curry's season officially ends with a 5-20 record (4-14 CCC).