One could have bet the house that the Ravens’ 97-94 double overtime victory over Franklin on Jan. 16 would be the most exciting contest of the season for the team. In a normal season, the bettor would have been correct. The Ravens had other plans as they traveled to conference foe Hanover University on Saturday and emerged victorious in triple overtime by a score of 106-100.
The game was tied on 13 different occasions, and there were 10 lead changes. The Ravens employed a seven-man rotation that was eventually shortened to six due to foul trouble, but were able to overcome the adversity of a second consecutive road overtime contest with the shortened rotation. Trevor Lucas, who played 51 minutes, commented that he had never played in a longer game. Lucas scored 24 points in the game, 22 of which came in the second half. He also recorded game highs with 11 rebounds and five assists and made numerous key plays down the stretch, including a jumper with 3:21 left in the final overtime to give AU the lead for good.
Stanley Duncan set a new career high, scoring 33 points. His impact on the game went far beyond just scoring. Duncan hauled in four rebounds, including the biggest rebound of the game, an offensive board for a put-back layup with 15 seconds left that prevented Hanover from having an opportunity to tie the game and force a fourth overtime. He also made a huge stop on defense as he sacrificed his body to draw a charge against Hanover with less than a minute remaining that took the proverbial wind out of their sails.
Wes Davidson was one of the many teammates who commented on Duncan’s performance, and especially cited the put-back and charge taken in overtime.
“Both teams made winning plays down the stretch,” Davidson commented, “but after Stanley got the put-back layup and drew the charge you could tell that put them on their heels. We were in the driver’s seat from that point on.”
Cole Hartman scored 16 points but fouled out in regulation, leaving him unable to play in overtime. Nathaniel Acree, who broke the school record for 3-pointers made in a career during Wednesday’s victory against Manchester, scored 13 points and played a game high of 53 minutes.
Brett Anderson added eight points in 48 minutes. Micah Smith and Davidson completed the Ravens’ rotation, with Smith adding eight points on 4-4 shooting and Davidson adding four points and two steals.
The win gave the Ravens a 9-8 record overall and improved their conference record to 5-5. With three consecutive conference wins, the team is beginning to hit their stride for the stretch run of conference play.
The recent play has inspired Duncan for the remaining games, as he said, “I feel great about our upcoming games and whichever ones may come beyond that. The way we have been playing the last three games, we can compete with any team in our conference.” The men will travel to Defiance, Ohio on Wednesday night, seeking revenge against the Defiance College Yellow Jackets. The Yellow Jackets defeated the Ravens 78-75 on Jan. 6. The Ravens jumped out to an early 17-2 lead and led most of the way before losing the lead for good with under five minutes remaining.
Anderson will look to gain an early lead, but this time maintain their lead and consistency throughout the contest, hopefully pushing their conference record to 6-5.