BETHLEHEM, Pa. — A wild game came to a thrilling conclusion for Goucher, as Troy DeShields (Seaford, Del./Sussex Technical) converted a 3-point play with 4.4 seconds remaining in triple overtime to give the Gophers a 91-90 win over Moravian.
Trailing by two in the closing seconds, DeShields drove down the right side, drawing a foul and banking in a layup for his first points of the game. The sophomore co-captain then bounced in the resulting free throw, and a last second desperation shot from the Greyhounds fell short to give Goucher the win.
"Coach wanted me to set a pick and roll, and when I rolled open I noticed they were doubling him," DeShields said of the play. "I had a wide open lane. When they tried to recover I made sure I got contact, and I was able to finish it off."
The victory is the second in a row for the Gophers (7-6, 2-0 Landmark), who also remained unbeaten in conference play. Moravian (6-6, 1-2 Landmark) saw a three-game winning streak come to an end.
The Greyhounds controlled play early on, jumping out to a 16-6 lead. A thunderous one-handed dunk from Alex Noble (Clinton, Md./Surrattsville) highlighted a 6-0 stretch for Goucher, but Moravian recovered and took a 41-30 edge into the intermission. Turnovers were the key in the opening 20 minutes, as the Greyhounds converted 14 Gopher giveaways into 16 points.
Trailing 49-37 with 14:35 remaining in the second half, a Noble free throw began an 11-0 run for Goucher to pull within one, and no team would lead by more than six for the remainder of the contest.
Julian Livingston (Bowie, Md./Fairmont Heights) nailed a 3-pointer with 3:47 left to give Goucher its first lead at 61-60. Moravian, though, answered with a three of its own, and they led 66-63 in the final minute before Norman Allen II (Bowie, Md./Riverdale Baptist) drilled a three to send the Gophers into their first overtime game of the season.
Brian Morton II (Ellicott City, Md./Mount St. Joseph) had a chance to win it for Goucher in the first overtime, but his contested layup bounced off the rim in the final seconds, sending the teams to a second extra frame tied at 72.
Noble carried the Gophers in the second overtime. His 3-point play leveled the game at 79 with two minutes to go, and he sank a pair of clutch free throws with two seconds left to even it up at 82 apiece. Noble finished the game with a season-high 31 points, hitting 15 of 16 shots from the line in the process. Those 15 made free throws ties him with Dexter Martin (2/1/96) for the most in a single-game in Gopher program history.
Goucher led by as many as three points in the third bonus session, aided by a pair of layups from Dylan Chaney (Columbia, Md./Wilde Lake). A 3-pointer and four free throws gave Moravian its advantage before DeShields' heroics. The sophomore forward's winning points came on his only shot and free throw of the game after an extended rest on the bench.
"You've always got to stay ready," he said. "I knew Coach would call on me at some point, and when I got in there I just played my game."
Today's contest was Goucher's longest since an 88-84 triple-overtime triumph over Marymount on Dec. 11, 2010. The Gophers shot 46.8 percent from the field for the game, and they had a 34-19 advantage in bench points.
"I thought we played lethargic early on after playing really well the last game," head coach Leonard Trevino said. "But we really started coming on in the second half. We got contributions from a lot of different guys, and I think the biggest thing is that everyone kept fighting."
Allen added 17 points off the bench for Goucher, while Morton turned in an outstanding overall effort, finishing with 14 points, nine rebounds and six steals in a game-high 49 minutes of play. The six swipes were the most for a Gopher this season, while his nine boards tied a career-high.
"Brian is a really tough kid," Trevino said of Morton. "He's a guy without a position, but he plays really hard. He kept us in it early on, and he made some big plays down the stretch."
Goucher will look to move to 3-0 in the conference for a second-consecutive season when the Gophers travel to Susquehanna (8-5, 0-2 Landmark) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. That game will also conclude a stretch of seven games away from home for Goucher.