The William Smith basketball team came out on the short end of a thrilling 95-91 triple overtime game against SUNY New Paltz on Saturday. The Herons slip to 2-1, while the Hawks improve to 2-1.
William Smith began the day with only nine players due to injuries and dual sport commitments (twins Sarah and Jessie Tarantino also play for the Herons’ fifth ranked soccer team). That proved to be a key factor before this marathon contest was over.
New Paltz led by eight at halftime, but William Smith rallied to tie the game with 7:59 remaining in regulation. The Herons briefly gained the lead, 54-53, on a traditional three-point play by Latasha Coney with 5:38 to go. The Hawks pushed their lead to as many as six down the stretch, but William Smith fought back to tie the game, 64-64, on Amy Guthrie’s basket with 12 second to go. The hosts held the ball for the final shot, but didn’t convert, necessitating overtime.
In the first OT, Erin Cunningham’s jumper with 41 seconds left put the Herons in front 74-72. The Hawks evened the game 15 seconds later. William Smith missed a pair of shots for the lead in the wanning seconds.
Cunningham hit a three-pointer with six ticks remaining in the second overtime to force a third five minute session where depth became an issue.
With 4:51 to go, Ashlinn Barber became the fifth Heron to foul out, leaving William Smith with only four eligible players. Despite the handicap, the Herons rallied from a five-point hole to tie the game 91-all with 67 seconds left. Cunningham scored all five points, two from the line and three from behind the arc, but the Hawks hit a three to back in front for good.
Coney led William Smith with 30 points on 11 of 21 shooting, nine rebounds, and eight steals. Cunningham chipped in 26 points and nine boards, while Barber produced a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Carrie Stevens also grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.
New Paltz’s Artie Williams led all scorers with 36 points and a game-high 19 rebounds.
The Herons will be back on the court on Nov. 25, when they host Nazareth at 6 p.m.