GOSHEN, Ind. – For just the second time this season, the Goshen College men's basketball team fell on its home court. The Maple Leafs led the majority of the evening, but did not make the big plays when they mattered most, losing 100-98 in double-overtime to visiting Spring Arbor University on Saturday.
The contest featured a total of 14 tied scores and 16 lead changes despite the Leafs leading by as many as seven twice in each half, including as late as eight minutes left in regulation. But the game was not decided until Rob Hogans drove through the lane for a layup with less than four seconds to play in the second extra frame.
Hogans was hot all night, scoring a game-high 34 points on 14-of-18 shooting. Chris Bellamy added 23 points, while Matt Howe chipped in 18 for Spring Arbor. Kody Chandler led five Goshen players in double figures with 20 points. Matt Glick and Kyle Davis had 16 and 15 points off the bench, respectively, while Garner Small had 12 and Mike Betcher 11.
Junior Kalamazoo Valley Community College transfers Small and Betcher got the Maple Leafs off to a fast start, scoring four points each as Goshen immediately staked itself to an 8-2 lead. The visitors showed early it was going to be a tough night, though, and used a 7-0 run to take their first lead (9-8).
Neither side was able to go up by more than four until a Chandler 3-pointer put Goshen up 30-24 at the 6:27 mark of the first period. After Spring Arbor had closed the gap to a single point, Chandler and Glick led the Leafs on another run, this time a 6-0 spurt as they stretched their lead to seven (38-31) with just over three minutes on the first-half clock.
The gap held at seven (42-35) as the teams moved into the locker rooms for halftime adjustments. Goshen was out shot 56% to 49% in the first half, but grabbed eight offensive rebounds and hit 4-of-9 3-pointers in the stanza.
During the first 5:11 of the second half, the Maple Leafs hit just two field goals. The Cougars took advantage and took their first lead of the period when Bellamy drained a 3-pointer for three of his 21 points after halftime. From that point, the score was tied 11 times and changed hands 11 times leading to the dramatic finish.
With 20 seconds remaining in regulation, junior Matthew Martin tied the score at 83-all leaving Spring Arbor with the chance to win it. Bellamy's shot rimmed out. however, and the game went on to its first extra frame. Goshen never trailed in the first overtime and led by as many as four before back-to-back baskets by Hogans knotted the score again at 89-89. This time the Leafs had the late chance with Martin's 3-ball coming up short.
In the second overtime stanza, fans saw three ties and three lead changes in a thrilling finish. Spring Arbor got what appeared to be the play of the game when Matt Howe drove to the basket and drew a foul converting a three-point play into a 98-95 lead with just 44 seconds to play. Seventeen seconds later, though, Chandler drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the circle to set up Hogan's heroics. He drove along the right side for the game-winner with less than four seconds left on the clock. A desperation attempt by Kyle Davis did not fall for Goshen who lost for the fourth-straight time to Spring Arbor.
Goshen (18-10, 8-8 MCC) will look to rebound as they head on the road to Huntington University on Tuesday.