Dramatic OT makes STU’s men’s basketball team ACAA champions

An exciting Atlantic Colleges Athletic Association final between the Mount Saint Vincent Mystics and the St. Thomas University Tommies took place Sunday afternoon, with the Tommies upsetting the favored Mystics 70-63 in overtime.

“In the back of my mind, I was still thinking this just puts us into overtime, we still have work to do,” said Corey Delong.

“I was excited, but in the back of my mind, I was still thinking about the rest.”

Down by seven points in the last minutes of the game, Tommies’ rookie of the year Richie Wilkins fouled out with five seconds left in the game, bringing Corey Delong in to fill his position. Delong and Mazurkiewicz  caused a crucial turnover, giving the ball to the Tommies with three seconds left to play.

STU called a timeout and drew up a play to get the ball to Delong.  He then hit a huge turn-around three-pointer with two MSVU players in his face to tie the game at 59 and send it to overtime.

But the game didn’t get off to an easy start for the Tommies, with the Mystics dominated the early stages, and the Tommies appearing to have trouble climbing back into it the entire first half.

The Mystics went on a huge 23-10 run, which, at the time, looked like it was going to be it for the reigning champs. STU made a push towards the end of the second quarter, which saw them only down six heading into the break.

The third quarter was a statement quarter for the second-place Tommies, as they made the Mystics look confused for the entire 10 minutes. STU went on to win the quarter 22-13 to take the lead heading into the final quarter.

The fourth saw both teams go back and forth throughout the quarter with nobody taking a controlling lead. In the last two minutes, the Mystics took a seven-point lead and looked like they were going to win their seventh straight title.

Going into the tournament, the Mystics had a perfect record and a dynasty that saw them win the previous six ACAA championships, leaving the Tommies as heavy underdogs.

But after tying the game at the last second of regulation time, the game carried into overtime where the Mystics couldn’t keep up with STU.

Delong continued his hot play in overtime with two huge three pointers, while Calvin LeBlanc added another. The Tommies sealed it with free throws from Brent Kingston in the dying seconds.

With his miracle shot and hot hand in overtime, Delong was named the game’s MVP.

Dickinson said DeLong’s confidence soared after making the shot.

“We talk with him all the time, and I told that kid he can shoot the basketball. When he relaxed and got it going, he just felt it,” Dickenson said.

It was the first time both the men and women won the ACAA championship in the same year.

The nationals are being held next week for both teams.

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