STANDISH, Maine – Senior Zach O'Brien (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) scored a game-high 21 points, knocked down a pair of game-winning free throws and came up with a game-ending steal in the overtime period to lead the St. Joseph's College (Maine) Monks to a 61-59 overtime win over the University of Southern Maine Huskies Sunday night in Standish, Maine.
With the win, the Monks improved to 3-0 and secured possession of the Costello Cup, presented annually to the winner of the contest between the two schools, for the fourth straight year. Contested over the past 23 years, the Costello Cup honors the late Richard "Doc" Costello, former USM Athletic Director and long-time basketball coach. The loss was the first of the season for the Huskies after a four-game winning streak to open the 2011-12 campaign.
Trailing the Huskies by two, 52-50, with just 18 seconds remaining in regulation senior guard Tom Ray (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) connected on a pair of free throws to force the overtime action. Prior to the extra period, both teams were locked in a back and forth contest with neither team gaining more than a four-point advantage in the second half.
The game remained tight in the overtime period with O'Brien striking first for the Monks to lead 54-52 on their first possession. The Huskies answered right back taking their only lead of the overtime period on a three-pointer from junior guard Alex Kee (Bath, Maine/Morse) with 3:58 to play, before senior guard Chris Petzy (Kensington, N.H.) scored the next three points for a 57-55 Monks' lead with 1:37 to go. USM senior forward Jeremy Jackson (Laplace, La./Independence) pulled his team even twice scoring back-to-back layups before O'Brien canned his game-winning free throws. The Huskies had two looks at the basket in the final seconds of overtime but misfired on both before O'Brien forced the game-ending turnover with a steal.
Petzy finished the game with 11 points to join O'Brien in double-digits for the Monks. Sophomore guard Matt Mederios (Westport, Mass.) added 13 points off of the bench.
Southern Maine senior guard Chris Pagentine (Lexington, N.C./North Davidson) led the Huskies with 17 points. Jackson added 14 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore center John Roberts (Portland, Maine/Falmouth) had a career-high 12 points off of the bench.
Southern Maine hosts Bowdoin College on Tuesday (7:30 p.m.). St. Joseph's College hosts Husson University on Wednesday (7:30 p.m.).