The University of Arkansas at Monticello men’s basketball team took down Great American Conference opponent Harding University Saturday night on the road, by a final score of 95-94 in triple overtime.
This was the first triple overtime game for UAM since the 1999-2000 season when the Weevils defeated Arkansas Tech in a triple overtime match-up. This was also the first triple overtime match-up in men’s basketball in the history of the Great American Conference.
No. 17 Arkansas-Monticello (19-2, 15-2 GAC) found itself down as many as 17 points in the first half against the Bisons of HU (13-8, 10-7 GAC), but the Weevils closed out the opening half on a 26-14 run to cut the Harding lead down to 40-35. The second half brought the same intensity as each team battled ahead for a lead, but Arkansas-Monticello overtook HU on a three-pointer by Vicktor Arnick midway through the second half of play to make the score 53-52 in UAM’s favor.
The Weevils led Harding by two points within the closing minutes of the second half as two made free throws evened the game up and a failed three-point attempt by UAM sent this contest into overtime number one. Each program traded baskets throughout the first overtime period until the Bisons held a 75-73 lead with just seconds remaining. Derylton Hill grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed three and got the put back to fall with just one second left, sending the game into a second overtime.
UAM controlled the pace of overtime number two early, jumping out to a five point lead over Harding at 80-75, and with roles reversed Harding sunk a shot with 10 seconds remaining to send the game into a third overtime period. Each team went on to hold a lead in triple overtime as the Bisons led by one point until a foul against Harding on a Karim Mawuenyega three-point attempt sent the junior to the line for three free throws. Mawuenyega made 2-of-3, giving the Weevils the lead and the defense of Arkansas-Monticello went on to hold strong against HU’s final shot to seal the game at 95-94.
The senior Arnick led UAM in overall scoring with 24 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the floor. Vicktor also recorded seven rebounds, one steal, and one block in the match-up.
Three other Weevils found themselves in double digits on the night as Tyrin Jones (22), Karim Mawuenyega (20), and Derylton Hill (15) each powered the offense to victory on the road.
Final team stats on the night for UAM included 44 percent shooting from the field (35-for-79), 29 percent on three’s (6-for-21), and 63 percent on foul shots (19-for-30). HU finished the contest shooting 52 percent (34-for-66) from the field, 45 percent on three-pointers (9-for-20), and 81 percent from the free throw line (17-for-21).
Arkansas-Monticello will be back in action next on Monday, February 13 against GAC rival Southern Arkansas at home inside Steelman Field House with tip-off set for 7:30 p.m.