Grant pulls MU men through 2 OTs to win
By Joel Schreiner, Correspondent
Larry Grant spent much of the second half grimacing in pain from his aching lower back.
Can you blame the guy?
All he did was lift Millersville's lifeless offense on that back and carry it to a 74-68 PSAC win over Kutztown in double overtime Saturday afternoon at Pucillo Gym.
"I just thought my team needed me to step up and be a leader," said Grant, who came off the bench and finished with a game-high 30 points. "I'm a senior on this team. I didn't want to lose. We don't lose at home, so I just felt like it was time for me to step up."
He went above and beyond, scoring 26 of the Marauders' final 47 points in a span of 22 minutes. At one point in the second half he scored 16 straight, and he also posted 10 of MU's 12 points in the second extra period.
"He's capable of doing things like that," Marauders coach Fred Thompson said. "He carried us."
Grant had only four points in the opening half when the Marauders (9-4 PSAC, 13-6 overall) never led and fell behind early 15-4.
Still down 27-20, Millersville ran off the final seven points of the half, including a buzzer-beater from Brandon Brown (13 points) to knot it at the break.
In the opening half, the Marauders hit only 11 of 37 shots, including a miniscule 2-for-16 clip from long range against a zone defense from the Bears (2-11, 3-16).
"We couldn't make shots," Thompson said. "We got open looks and you have to make shots. We didn't do that today."
The Bears regained their seven-point advantage, 44-37, with 8:31 to play, but the Marauders chipped away and took their first lead, 51-50, on an Anthony Coleman layup with 1:46 left.
Coleman (10 points) added to the lead with a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left before Micah Fraction sent it into OT by burying the tying 3-pointer from the top of the key with four seconds left.
Fraction, who played the whole game before fouling out with eight seconds to go, finished with a team-high 28 points, including 21 after halftime.
Tyler Brooks (20 points) and Kenny Battle both played all 50 minutes for the Bears, who had only seven players in uniform.
In the first OT, the Marauders led 60-55 with 2:57 left, but could not hold on. Fraction sank another game-tying trey, this time with 1:01 to go. Neither team scored in the final 61 seconds, although Ryan Connolly had an open look from the corner at the buzzer, but missed.
KU opened the second OT with a Fraction basket, but Grant reeled off eight unanswered points, putting the Marauders ahead for good.
"They have enough talent to win on any given day," Thompson said of the Bears. "Today was a given day and they almost got us."
Not on Grant's watch.n
"I just thought my team needed me to step up and be a leader."