Syracuse, New York – For the second time in three days, the Tompkins Cortland Community College men's basketball team gave one of the top teams in the conference as much as it could handle, but for the second straight time, came up short in overtime. On Monday, the Panthers were even with Onondaga Community College at the end of regulation, only to see the Lazers pull away to a 91-83 win in overtime. The loss puts the Panthers at 4-10 overall and 2-5 in the Mid-State Athletic Conference. Onondaga is now 113-7 overall and 4-2 in the MSAC.
A back-and-forth first half ended with Onondaga up 41-38. The Panthers rallied in the second half, out-scoring the Lazers 23-12 over the first 13 minutes to hold a 61-53 lead, but Onondaga chipped away, eventually tying the score at 65-65 with 2:44 left. A runner in the lane by Derek Brower (Queens/Half Hollow Hills West H.S.) put the Panthers back in front, only to see the Lazers respond with a three-pointer to lead 68-67 with 1:36 left. After the teams traded unproductive possessions, Onondaga scored to move ahead 70-67 with 47 seconds left. The Panthers had a reply, this time with Devonte Henry (Brooklyn/Boys and Girls H.S.) scoring a bucket and drawing a foul, completing the three-point play to tie the score at 70-70 with 30.7 left on the clock. Neither team could break the tie over the final half minute, sending the Panthers to overtime yet again.
Onondaga wasted no time taking the lead, scoring on the opening possession of overtime. Brower again had the answer, draining a three pointer to put the Panthers up 73-72. The Lazers answered with their own three ball, and this time the Panthers replied with a deuce to tie it at 75-75 with under four minutes to play. While Onondaga continued to score, the Panthers went dry, turning the ball over and missing their shots during a nearly two-minute drought. Meanwhile, Onondaga scored seven straight to take control at 82-75, and then closed the door, finishing the five-minute overtime period having scored 21 points to 13 for the Panthers.
Henry had a big game with 26 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 assists. Ja Don Crooms (Brooklyn/Boys and Girls H.S.) also went for a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds and Brower tossed in 15 points while dishing out 7 assists.
The Panthers hope to snap its current two-game skid on Wednesday at Jefferson Community College.