DAYTONA BEACH – Sophomore guard Tarchee Brown (Rockville) sank four free throws in the final 25 seconds of overtime as the Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team escaped with a 66-60 victory over Berry College Sunday afternoon at the Daytona Beach Shootout at the Ocean Center Arena.
A loser of three straight, Berry (2-6) could not capitalize on a chance to win the game with four seconds left in regulation, but did manage to force overtime when team season scoring leader Caleb Johnson hit the second of two free throws to tie the game at 55-all.
Eastern (8-3) never trailed after Brown shot them into a 31-30 lead with a three-point field goal two minutes into the second half, but the Warriors could not put Berry away after moving out to a ten-point, 45-35 lead with 14 minutes left on the strength of a 10-1 run.
The Warriors kept Berry from scoring the rest of the way after Johnson's inside basket tied the game at 60-all with 1:27 left in overtime. Sophomore guard Collin Jordan (Cheshire) grabbed an offensive rebound of Brown's missed jumper and senior Kevin Leumene (Stamford) converted a layup to give Eastern the lead for good, 62-60, with 52 seconds left. Junior forward Hugh Lindo (Enfield) then grabbed a Viking miss and Brown swished two free throws with 25 seconds left to make it 64-60. Lindo then swatted his fifth shot of the game on Berry's next possession and Brown sealed the victory with two more free throws with two seconds left after Jordan gave Eastern possession with a steal.
Jordan sparked the team's 10-1 run early in the second half that pushed the Warriors' lead to ten with an inside basket and soon after a three-pointer after freshman guard Tyrell Arnum (Bloomfield) got things going with a conventional three-point play that made it 38-34.
Brown missed eight of ten field goals but was 11-of-12 from the foul line (his teammates were a combined 13-of-28 from the stripe) and finished with a game-high 16 points to go along with six rebounds. Lindo had 14 points (5-of-8 from the floor) and 14 rebounds. Arnum came off the bench for a season-high 11 points and grabbed four rebounds in 22 minutes and junior center Brandon Kuczenski (Naugatuck) had five points, seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Senior guard Trachone Preston (Enfield) was limited to three points off the bench due to injury. Lindo has 29 blocks in 11 games this season.
Eastern faces LaGrange College Monday at 4 p.m. at Daytona Beach.