WORCESTER, Mass. - The Worcester State men's basketball team snuck by in overtime to beat Baruch College 81-80 on Thursday night in non-conference action at John P. Brissette Court.
With the win, the Lancers improve to 2-1 on the season, while the Bearcats fall to 1-1.
The Lancers played catch up for most of the first half, but were able to cut the deficit to one heading into the break. Tyler Dion (Barre, Mass.) led the hosts with nine points, including back-to-back threes to tie the game at 30.
Worcester State's Chris Cardoso (Jamaica Plain, Mass.) played lockdown defense resulting in a steal and bucket to tie the game early on, and Emeka Egwuatu (Worcester, Mass.) protected the rim with two monster blocks for the Lancers.
William Sixsmith (Plainview, N.Y.) led the Bearcats in the first half with 10 points, and Andre Harris (Melville, N.Y.) corralled five first half rebounds.
Lancer sophomore Joe Desormier (Granby, Mass.) closed out the first half with a buzzer-beating three, cutting the Baruch lead to 34-33.
The Lancers opened up the second half outscoring the Bearcats 6-3, and a Dion 3-pointer forced Baruch to call a timeout less than three minutes in. Baruch fought back quickly and tied the game at 44 with a Bryler Paige (Brooklyn, N.Y.) basket.
Cardoso drilled 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions, giving Worcester State a 53-46 lead. He led the Lancers in second half scoring with 19 points
Baruch came back to take a 63-60 lead, but junior Will Watkins Jr. (Southbridge, Mass.), tied the game for the Lancers with a three with 6:50 left to play.
Sixsmith kept the Bearcats alive, knocking down four threes in the second half. He led Baruch with 22 points on the night.
The Bearcats took at 75-73 lead with 39 seconds to play behind two free throws from Harris, but junior Frantz Francois (Boston, Mass.) of the Lancers fired right back to tie it on a lay-in with six seconds remaining, forcing overtime.
Harris hit the first bucket of the overtime, and forced a foul to give Baruch a 78-75 lead, the Lancers came right back with a two from Cardoso.
Dion cut the Baruch lead to 80-79, and Francois grabbed the ensuing rebound. The Lancers called timeout to draw up one last play to try to win it, but a foul brought Cardoso to the foul line. He hit both shots to give the Lancers the win.
Cardoso led the Lancers in scoring with 24 points on 10-for-21 (48 percent) shooting. Dion grabbed 11 rebounds to go along with 14 points for a double-double in the win.
Harris had a double-double for Baruch with 19 points and 10 rebounds. The Bearcats shot 40.8% (31-for-76) from the field, but struggled to make their free throws, shooting just 54.2 percent (13-for-24) from the line.
The Lancers next contest is at Western Connecticut State on Friday, November 16 at 5 p.m. The Bearcats faceoff against Regis College in the NYU Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday, November 17 at 7 p.m.