WCAC boys

Gonzaga boys' basketball team defeats No. 1 DeMatha in overtime

Fifth-ranked Eagles upset No. 1 DeMatha in an overtime thriller.
By Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fifth-ranked Gonzaga had lost a four-point lead in the final minute of regulation and was trailing by one point late in overtime when it had a shot blocked. But as top-ranked DeMatha corralled the rebound, Eagles guard Cedrick Lindsay sensed an opportunity.

Lindsay quickly snuck in from the back side, wrestled the ball away from an opponent and scored the game-winning basket with one minute left to lift Gonzaga to a thrilling 67-65 victory before a capacity crowd of 3,500 at American University's Bender Arena on Friday night.

"I saw [he] turned his back and my first instinct was to go get the ball," said Lindsay, a senior who has signed with Richmond. "After I got it, I tried to finish it. I finished it, too. Nothing more I can ask for."

DeMatha had three more shots to tie or take the lead but was unable to score. Eagles center Oliver Ellison blocked the Stags' best chance.

"Our big fella, all night long, we told Oliver not to give up layups," Gonzaga Coach Steve Turner said. "Early in the first half, he didn't get off his feet. Finally, he got off his feet and saved a win for us."

Senior forward Malcolm Lemmons, bound for Robert Morris, led the Eagles with a career-high 23 points, and Lindsay finished with 15.

Senior forward Victor Oladipo, who has signed with Indiana, led the Stags with 19 points, while junior guard Quinn Cook added 14.

It was a sensational finish to a back-and-forth game that saw DeMatha (19-2, 10-1 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference) build an early 12-1 lead before Gonzaga answered. Over the final three quarters, neither team led by more than six points.

Of the teams' past eight meetings, six have been decided by three points or less.

On Friday, it was DeMatha that had to rally, trailing by four in the final minute.

After Cook made 1 of 2 free throws with 28 seconds left in regulation, junior Mikael Hopkins grabbed the rebound and scored. Later, DeMatha senior Jerian Grant was fouled and made two free throws with nine seconds left. Eagles (17-4, 8-2) had a chance to win, but Oladipo blocked a potential layup with one second remaining.

Oladipo had a layup and a highlight-reel dunk in overtime that put DeMatha ahead 65-64, but the Stags were unable to hang on.

Quick turnaround: DeMatha is scheduled to leave at 10 a.m. Saturday for its 6 p.m. game against St. Anthony's in the Newark National Invitational. Nothing for free: Aside from Jerian Grant's 6-for-6 performance in the fourth quarter, DeMatha was 3 of 17 from the line. The Stags entered shooting 75.1 percent on free throws.

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