Dallas, TX—Phil Martin scored a carer-high 29 points, including nine in the overtime period, as UC Riverside (2-2) beat the host Southernn Methodist University Mustangs 73-69 in overtime Saturday evening at the Moody Coliseum. The junior from Staten Island, NY went 11 of 12 from the field on the night as the Highlanders evened their record at 2-2 on the year.
As important as Martin’s performance was, had it not been for Javon Borum the game never would have gone into overtime to begin with. The Highlanders found themselves with the ball trailing 57-55 with 22 seconds to go in regulation, but Borum drained an 18-foot baseline jumper, and a last-second prayer by SMU went unanswered sending the teams into the extra period.
A 4-0 run midway through OT put the Mustangs up 64-61, but that is when Martin put the team on his back scoring seven of the Highlanders next nine points. That run included a pair of free throws, a three pointer and a jumper with 14 seconds to go in the game that gave the Highlanders a lead they would never relinquish.
Kareem Nitoto, who finished with 11 points on the night, knocked down a pair of free throws with two seconds remaining to seal the victory.
Borum broke out of his shooting slump Saturday as he not only drained the jumper that sent the game into OT, but hit five of nine shots, including two of four from three-point range, finishing with a season-high 14 points. He entered the game having hit just three of 30 shots on the year.
The Mustangs appeared to be taking control of the game early in the second when Papa Dia drained a three-pointer with 3:42 gone in the half. That gave the Mustangs their largest lead of the ballgame at seven, 38-31. The Highlanders refused to go away eventually retaking the lead, 51-50, on a Nitoto old-fashioned three-pointer with 5:56 left on the clock. It remained a one-possession game for the remainder of the period setting up Borum’s game-tying shot.
The SMU Invitational ends Sunday with the Highlanders taking on the Portland State Vikings. Tip is scheduled for 2:30 pm PT.
Martin’s 11-of-12 shooting performance is tied for the fourth-best single-game field goal percentage in the history of the program.
The Highlanders connected on 58.7 percent of their shots on the night which is the highest percentage for UCR since they connected on 29 of 48 shots from the field at UC Davis on March 1, 2007.
UC Riverside connected on 68.4 percent of its shots in the second half and made four of five in the extra period.
SMU’s 16 made three pointers were the most the Highlanders have ever allowed in a game. The 37 three-point field goal attempts were also an opponent single-game high.
Bobby Clinkscales 13 three-point field goal attempts tied the UCR opponent record for most by an individual in a game.
Press Release Credit:
UC Riverside Athletics Media Relations/gohighlanders.com