Herkimer Basketball advances to National Semifinal
It was not pretty. But in March, it doesn't have to be.
The Herkimer Generals Men's Basketball team took the "Survive and Advance" motto to the limit as they won a hard fought 65-59 decision over the #6 seed Nassau Community College Lions in Thursday's NJCAA Division III National Quarterfinal Game in Rochester, Minnesota. With the win, the # 3 seeded Generals advance to Friday's National Semifinal against # 2 Elgin Community College (Illinois) at 6:00 PM EDT.
The first half against Nassau was a defensive battle as both teams struggled to find a rhythm offensively. Jalen Burgess (Spring Garden, NY) and Matt Dallas (Hudson, NY) came off the bench to combine for 12 points and give the Generals a 32-30 lead at the halftime break.
A scoring burst by Nassau to start the second half gave them a 41-38 lead. But Burgess scored 6 points in a 3 minute span to spark a 12-4 run to give the Generals a 50-45 lead with 8 minutes left. Nassau responded with a 12-4 run sparked by Terrell Williams, who had a game high 25 points for Nassau, to give the Lions a 55-54 lead with 4:25 remaining.
After a couple of defensive stops by both teams, Felix Riascos (Poughkeepsie, NY) hit the biggest shot of the day for the Generals, hitting a 3 pointers with 3:20 remaining to give Herkimer a lead they would never relinquish at 57-55. After a Nassau free throw cut the lead to 57-56, Tyquan Scott(Long Beach, NY) hit a acrobatic layup for a 59-56 lead with 1:20 remaining.
After yet another defensive stop, free throw shooting clinched the win for the Generals. Arnold Agard (Brooklyn, NY) went 4 for 4 from the line in the last minute to send Herkimer into Friday's semifinal matchup.
Tyquan Scott led the way in the scoring column for Herkimer with 17 points. Jalen Burgess came off the bench to contribute 13 huge points to help lead the Generals.
Friday's semifinal appearance will be the second in 5 years for Herkimer. The winner of the Herkimer/Elgin game will advance to Saturday night's National Championship game at 8:00 PM EDT.