Junior point guard Tim Sweeney covers his head after fouling out in overtime with 1:25 remaining. UR went on to lose to Elizabethtown College 93-83. (Photo by Dan Bock, Campus Times Staff)

SALEM, VA (March 15) – Even a record-breaking night from freshman forward Seth Hauben wasn’t enough for the UR men’s basketball team against the Elizabethtown College Cardinals Friday night in the Div. III National Semifinal game. UR battled fouls, injuries, inexperience and unlucky bounces throughout a majority of the game as the men lost to E-Town 93-83 in overtime.

“Both teams played hard,” head coach Mike Neer said. “It was tough to take a young team and counter what [E-Town] did. I have to tip my hat to them. They hit some big shots. We played an experienced team, [we were] down, came back and had a chance to win it.”

Hauben, who had a career night by scoring 39 points and grabbing a Div. III record 18 rebounds, carried UR all night long. He hit two shots in the game’s final 19 seconds to force overtime at 75 all. He put the final shot in with 0.4 seconds remaining on a hook inside the lane.

“[Junior point guard Tim Sweeney] got the ball in bounds. Everyone went to Timmy. When I got the ball, I threw it up and it went in,” Hauben said.

Freshman forward Seth Hauben goes to the hoop in the second half against Elizabethtown. Hauben had a career night by scoring 39 points and grabbing a Div. III record 18 rebounds. He was the only UR player in double figures. (Photo by Dan Bock, Campus Times Staff)

UR held a brief lead in overtime as sophomore guard Jeff Joss hit a three pointer at 4:33. It was a lead that lasted 19 seconds. A freak four point play by Blue Jay guard Bob Porambo got E-Town the lead . Poramno hit the shot falling down after being fouled by sophomore forward Makedo Wisseh. The ball bounced around on the rim before falling in.

“Sometimes you just get lucky,” said Porambo, who went 5 for 6 on threes and scored 21 points for the game. “I saw the defender running at me and just shot it up there. I saw it bouncing around and it go in from my back.”

Hauben answered twice by putting UR in the lead 80-79 and then tying after an E-Town three pointer at 82 by calmly sinking two free throws with 3:11 remaining. Senior Blue Jay guard Brian Marquette scored with 2:54 to go in overtime to give E-Town the lead for good. They shot 100% (3-for-3) from the floor in overtime and hit 11 of 12 free throws.

Foul trouble started to get to UR as Sweeney fouled out with 1:25 remaining in overtime. He joined sophomore center Brian Jones and sophomore forward Andy Larkin on the bench. Jones had fouled out late in the second half after scoring nine points and netting eight rebounds. Larkin injured his ankle after only a minute on the courty with 13:11 left in the first half and didn’t return.

Sophomore forward Andy Larkin watches the team huddle from the bench after injuring his ankle in the first half. UR was without an important big man throughout the rest of the game. (Photo by Dan Bock, Campus Times Staff)

It was too much for the young Yellowjackets to overcome.

“We’re pretty deep to start. We count on [Jones and Sweeney],” Joss said. “It hurts. when you see those guys go out one by one. You kinda say what are you going to do now.”

Even with the losses, Hauben felt UR had a good chance to win.

“All year we’ve just outlasted teams in the second half,” Hauben said. “We were real confident going into overtime because we had the momentum. It is just an awful feeling [losing this game].”

Hauben, a 6-foot-6, 245-pounder, entered the game averaging 10.2 points and 6.6 rebounds. He was 16-of-25 from the floor during the game.

“There wasn’t much that we could do about him tonight. It was just his night,” senior Blue Jay guard Rocky Parise said. “You just have to give him lots of credit.”

E-Town answered Hauben’s outbust by burning up the court with 59.6 percent shooting, hitting eight of 15 from behind the thee-point arc. UR only shot 45 pecent from the field and turned the ball over 25 times. UR stayed in the game by out-rebounding E-Town 50-23 and having a 36-5 advantage in second chance points.

Neer also attributed the loss in part to the team’s poor free-throw shooting. UR, who shot from 83% from the line during the regular season, only managed 12-21 Friday night.

Fans watch as UR battles Elizabethtown into overtime. Many of the UR faithful rode a bus 650 miles to make it to the game. (Photo by Dan Bock, Campus Times Staff)

UR opened the game with a 20-14 lead at 9:06 in the first half. They then went cold from the floor and E-Town went on a 22-6 run over the next 6:22 putting E-Town ahead by 10 points with 1:54 left in the first half. UR answered with a three pointer from Sweeney and a jumper by freshman guard Gave Perez to end the first half 36-31 E-Town.

UR continued its momentum in the second half opening on a 9-2 run taking a short 40-38 lead. E-Town answered with a run of its own as Porambo hit a lay-up and two three pointers putting the team ahead 51-42. The teams traded baskets until Hauben hit a jumper with 4:22 remaining to begin a 11-2 UR run that would tie the game at 69 with 1:20 to go in regulation. Hauben scored seven points in the run.

“There was a time in the second when we were confused but we were tough, resilient team,” Neer said.

Elizabethtown scored on a backdoor layup with to give them 73-71 lead with 31 seconds to go and they extended the lead to four point with two foul shots with 27 seconds remaining.

That’s when Hauben went to work. He scored a layup with 19 seconds remaining to trim the score to 75-73. Parise missed two foul shots with 16 seconds remaining to give UR a chance to tie the score. After Perez and Hauben missed shots, the ball went out of bounds with four seconds remaining.

The loss was difficult for UR to take but they realized that they’re a young team and have a good chance of coming back next year. UR’s only senior forward Kyle Leech missed the game because of an injury earlier in the season.

“We’ll be back next year,” Neer said. “Don’t be surprised if you recognize familiar faces.”

Larkin agreed with his coach.

“Losing hurts but it gains experience for us,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of people coming back next year.”

Sweeney finished with a career high 12 assists and freshman forward Matt Conacher added nine points.

The men will play in today’s conselation game against number one ranked Carthage College at 2:30 p.m., who lost 70-66 against Otterbein College earlier in the evening.

“They’re pretty good if they feel like playing,” Neer said “But we’ll compete. There are only two other teams still playing basketball and they play a couple hours after us.”

Additional reporting by Thomas Paris



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