Panthers Can't Hold Big Lead, Lose in Final Seconds

Kyle Drysdale
Kyle Drysdale

The Tompkins Cortland Community College men's basketball team saw a 23-point second half slip away Thursday in a season-opening 82-80 loss to Jamestown Community College. It was also the first game of the year for Jamestown, a Division II team.

The Panthers outscored the Jayhawks 44-26 in the first half, limiting Jamestown to just 26.3% shooting from the floor while connecting at a 41.5% clip on their end. The lead grew to 53-30 in the opening minutes of the second half and still was a healthy 18 points at 67-49 with just over ten minutes left to play. A 13-0 run by Jamestown cut the lead to 67-62 with 6:50 left to play. Tompkins Cortland pushed it back to seven at 73-66 with five minutes left, but the Jayhawks finally came all the way back and tied the game at 77-77 with 1:47 left.

Tompkins Cortland went 3-for-4 from the free throw line while Jamestown went 1-for-2 over the next 40 seconds, with a free throw by Shareef Ali (Queens/Martin Van Buren H.S.) putting the Panthers up 80-78 with 1:04 left. A pair of offensive rebounds gave the Jayhawks the possession needed to tie the game with 45 seconds left, and after a miss by the Panthers, Jamestown scored the game-winner with 3.8 seconds left. A desperation three-pointer at the buzzer came up empty for the Panthers, sealing the come-from-behind win for the visiting Jayhawks.

Kyle Drysdale (Rosedale/Thomas A. Edison H.S.) led all scorers with 19 points. Devonte Henry (Brooklyn/Boys and Girls H.S.) had a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds and Ali and Jaiden Allen (Marlboro/Marlboro H.S.) each finished with 9 points.

The Panthers hit the road for their next game, playing at Schenectady County Community College on Tuesday.