Lions Lose Heartbreaker at the Buzzer

Columbia's recent streak of heartbreaking close losses continued on Tuesday night in a shocking last second defeat to Manhattan, 71-70.
Columbia’s recent streak of heartbreaking close losses continued on Tuesday night in a shocking last second defeat to Manhattan, 71-70.

In tonight’s battle for Manhattan’s basketball throne, one team’s misfortune became the other’s gain, as the Jaspers pulled out the stunning 71-70 victory at Levien Gymnasium.

The play that gave Manhattan a second life was a controversial foul call on Mike Alvarado’s desperation three-point attempt with 4 seconds to go, down 70-67. During the play, Alvarado leaned into Columbia defender Maodo Lo (8 points, 6 rebounds) and was granted the shooting foul despite Lo’s proper defense. Alvarado then went to the line for three shots, and the chance to tie the game at 70.

After missing the first and making the second to get Manhattan within 2 points, Alvarado appeared to intentionally miss the third. The rebound fell to a fortunate Jasper player whose errant putback fell just within the reach and leap of George Beamon. As he crashed to the floor, he laid it perfectly off the backboard and in, getting fouled in the process. Confidently, the 5th year senior stepped to the line and swished the free throw to take the one point lead, 71-70. But it wasn’t quite over yet.

With 0.5 seconds on the clock, Columbia desperately launched the ball to the free throw line extended on the offensive end, where the ball was knocked out of bounds with only two-tenths ticking off. Off a back screen at the top of the circle, freshman Luke Petrasek (6 points, 4 rebounds) cut to the hoop and received a near-perfect pass from sophomore guard, Issac Cohen (3 points, 2 assists). Colliding in the air with a defender, Petrasek guided the ball with his dominant left hand toward the hoop, but as the final buzzer sounded, the game-winning bid fell just short.

For Columbia, Grant Mullins notched a career-high 23 points and showed the leadership and poise that Columbia will need from the Canadian-born sophomore guard. But the real story of the night was Manhattan’s George Beamon. The front-runner for MAAC POY finished with a game-high 28 points on an efficient 6-9 from the field and 13-14 from the line.

The Columbia Lions will play Michigan State on Friday night at 9pm at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

6 thoughts on “Lions Lose Heartbreaker at the Buzzer

  1. Wolfy…..sorry Man. At least with Michigan State the Lions can lose the usual way. Perhaps that’s some consolation. Sorry Man.

    The AQ

    • Tough loss but a great game to watch, although the parade to both free throw lines gets a little tiresome. Must applaud the IDN for picture clarity and convenience. The PIP feature allowed me to watch he Harvard laugher simultaneously. Lions have a gritty team with more depth than I expected to see. The tall freshman center, Luke Petrasomething, will help a lot. He almost had a tip in to win it. Mullins had a career half; he deserved a win at home. Harvard at the top, Cornell at the bottom and the other six mixing it up. Might be a fascinating season to see.
      The broadcasters on the IDN feed were uneven, at times amateurish. They completely botched the explanation on Beamon’s game-winning tip in, missing the foul call that was made before the shot dropped. One of them pointed out repeatedly as the replay was shown that the ball was on the rim when the clock expired and that, therefore, the basket would not count.
      I have seen some negative feedback from some IDN users but with a little effort one can navigate quite easily. A real improvement….

  2. Thank you AQ, the feeling is mutual.

    Toothless – I was experiencing a similar confusion at Levien during Beamon’s put-back. The foul call wasn’t very definitive, and no one had any idea what they were reviewing at the scorers table. We all finally realized that a foul call would’ve stopped the clock, and THAT was the reasoning for the .5 left. AND THEN we realized he was going to the line for the and-1. What a mess!

    Also notable – both coaches and the two players (Osetkowski/Mullins) interviewed at the press conference showed notable trepidation toward the new (foul) rules, citing that a 57 foul game ruins the flow of a game, and forces unnatural substitutions. I hope these 60 foul games don’t continue – though it seems they will.

    • I can understand that the fans were confused, the announcers, too. But the replay was very clear, especially in slow motion. Beamon went up, tapped the ball, and was fouled. The referee blew the whistle before the shot dropped, raising his hand to signal the foul AND to stop the clock. The replay showed the sequence, although I could not hear the whistle. Curiously, one of the announcers said that he had heard the whistle. While the ball was bouncing around on the rim the backboard border light came on, indicating that time had expired. The shot then went into the basket. With respect to the announcer, most casual fans know that if the shot leaves the shooter’s hand prior to the expiration of time it remains a live ball until it is “dead.” The fact that a foul stops the clock does not “kill” the ball. The only issue for the refs was the amount of time to put back on the clock. (How two inbounds plays can happen in five tenths of a second is another issue.)

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