It took an additional five minutes of tightly contested action, but the Indiana Tech men’s basketball team made it five straight wins following an 82-78 overtime victory over Siena Heights University on Thursday at the Schaefer Center.
Senior Antonio Cannon hit a jumper with just over a minute to play in regulation to tie the game and force overtime. Midway through the extra period, Jeff Hoskins knocked down a huge three to put Indiana Tech ahead for good.
The win helped the Warriors keep pace with Madonna University and Lourdes University, who also picked up wins on the night, in a three-way tie for second place in the WHAC standings. The three squads trail the conference leader Davenport University by two games.
Siena Heights (6-17, 6-11 WHAC) had a strong first half, shooting 52 percent from the floor and hitting four three-pointers, but Tech was able to hang with the Saints and trailed by just one, 34-33, at halftime.
Following a first half of action that saw six ties and 11 lead changes, the second half would prove to be just as exciting.
Jordan Hickman and Melvin Brooks combined for four quick points to begin the half and the Warriors would eventually push their lead to five, 45-40, at the 15:17 mark. However, a 19-8 run by the Saints over the next seven minutes gave Siena Heights a six point edge, its largest lead of the half.
The two teams went back and forth with Tech not able to gain much ground until Cannon swung the momentum in favor of the Warriors by picking off a pass and finishing at the other end with thunderous one-handed jam. Hoskins intercepted the ensuing inbounds pass which would lead to a pair of Cannon free throws to tie the game 63-63 with 5:07 remaining.
Former Snider standout Nick Lewis gave Indiana Tech a 69-65 advantage with a put-back bucket a few minutes later, but Siena Heights answered with four straight points to tie the score again.
Both teams had opportunities to win the game in the closing seconds, but neither side could convert.
In overtime, Cannon and Hoskins put Tech in front, but the Saints refused to quit and responded to knot the score again. With just over two minutes left, Hickman found Hoskins who buried a three from the corner to give the Warriors a lead they would not relinquish.
Indiana Tech finished the night hitting 50 percent of their shots while Siena Heights connected on 44. Despite getting out-rebounded by the Saints, the key for the Warriors came in forcing 18 turnovers and converting those into 16 points.
All five of the starters for Indiana Tech finished scoring in double figures.
Brooks led the way with 22 points and grabbed nine boards. Hoskins and Cannon followed with 18 and 17 points respectively. Antonio Landers contributed 11 while Hickman added 10 and six assists.
The Warriors (19-6, 12-5 WHAC) will host Lourdes on Saturday at 3 p.m.