Stevens Defeats Kean in OT, 77-71

Stevens Defeats Kean in OT, 77-71

Hoboken, N.J. (12/30/09) - Senior Vinnie Darpino (Colonia, N.J.) sent the game into overtime with a 35 foot buzzer-beater and recorded a KU career-high 23 points but it wasn't enough as Stevens Institute of Technology defeated Kean, 77-71.

Stevens outscored the Cougars 8-2 in the extra period en route to the victory. Senior guard George Greco led four Ducks in double figures with 17 points.

After several empty possessions for both squads in overtime, Darpino (pictured right) put the Cougars (3-7) up 71-69 after converting a pair of free throws. Those two points would be Kean's only two in extra time as the Ducks rang off the final eight points of the game.

Stevens (7-1) jumped out to a 9-2 lead 3:49 into the action, but Kean battled back, tying the game at 16-all and 19-all before taking its first lead with 9:14 to play in the first.

The Cougars were able to push their lead to five after a pair of Jonathan Jones (Linden, N.J.) free throws with 6:17 left in the first, but the Ducks responded to tie the score at 29 thanks to a three from freshman Russ Thompson and several made free throws. The back-and-forth first half ended with Stevens holding a slim, 36-35 advantage.

Kean jumped out to its largest lead of the contest with a 9-2 run early in the second and took a 44-38 lead with 16:09 remaining in regulation. The Ducks responded with a 7-0 run of their own to regain the lead with 14:23 to play.  The two teams continued to see-saw and go blow-for-blow, and every time Kean was able to get its lead back to four, Stevens would come back and tie.

With 2:50 remaining the Cougars went up 66-62 after a driving layup from Jones, but 10 ticks later, Greco responded with a long triple from the left side to cut the lead to one.

Stevens then rolled off the next four points to take a 69-66 lead with three seconds left. Jones rebounded a missed Ducks free throw, fired a quick outlet to Darpino at half court and the senior hoisted a three from 35 feet to tie the game at 69 and send it into overtime. In all, the game saw nine ties and 12 lead changes.

Jones (pictured left) finished with 11 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. The Cougars shot 41.9 percent from the floor (26-of-62) and made 12-of-20 free-throw attempts.

The Ducks shot 50 percent from the field (25-of-50) and went 10-of-19 from long range. They were out-rebounded 44-33 and went 17-of-33 from the charity stripe.

Kean returns to action in 2010 when they travel to Baltimore, Maryland to take on Baruch College at Johns Hopkins University.