No. 17 Yellowjackets battle SJFC to OT win

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PITTSFORD, N.Y. – The St. John Fisher College men’s basketball team gave No. 17 University of Rochester all it could handle on Thursday night as the Cardinals fell in overtime, 86-82, in the third annual Mark’s Pizzeria Crosstown Shootout inside manning and Napier Varsity Gymnasium on Bobby Wanzer Court.  With the loss, Fisher moved to 3-2 overall while the Yellowjackets remained unbeaten at 8-0.

After heading into the locker room at halftime with a nine-point edge courtesy of 19 first half points from sophomore Matt AsenjoSammy Robinson pushed Fisher’s lead to 11 points, 45-34, to begin the second frame.

Both teams had it going over the first 10 minutes of play, but Rochester chipped away as the half wore on and put together a 13-2 run that featured a pair of 3-pointers to open up its first lead since early in the first half, 64-61.  The lead remained in the Yellowjackets’ favor as the visitors opened up a two-possession game with 3:25 remaining in regulation before six straight points from Robinson turned the tides and knotted the game at 70 points apiece.

With the game deadlocked and just over two minutes still showing on the clock, Fisher came up with a pair of timely stops before Rochester was whistled for an offensive foul to give the ball back to the Cardinals with 20 seconds left to go.  After calling a timeout to draw up a final play, Fisher took the court and began to work its offense.  The ball eventually found itself in Asenjo’s hands as the Dix Hills native blew past his defender before stepping back to bury the go-ahead 3-pointer to make it 73-70 in Fisher’s favor with just eight seconds left.

Trailing by three, the Yellowjackets were aided by a foul and knocked down a pair at the free throw line before putting Robinson at the stripe with four seconds showing in a 73-72 affair.  Robinson knocked down the first one, but Rochester came up with the rebound on the ensuing attempt and sent a full-court pass that found its mark as the visitors tied the game as time expired in regulation.

With the game tied at 74, Asenjo gave the Cardinals the lead back just 24 seconds into the overtime period with a pair of freebies, however, Rochester strung together six unanswered points to hold a four-point cushion, 80-76.

Undaunted, Fisher brought the ball across the timeline as Robinson heaved up a three that found its mark to make it a one-point contest at the midway point of overtime.

After coming up with a stop on the defensive end of the floor, Fisher would take the lead when Robinson drilled two more at the line, but Rochester would knock down 5-of-7 attempts from the foul line over the final 1:10 to escape with the non-conference win.

Robinson led all scorers with a game-high 28 points.  The junior converted 9-of-10 shots at the charity stripe and accounted for four rebounds and three assists overall.  Asenjo added his first-career double-double with a career-high 26 points including six from downtown to go along with 10 boards while Brendan Trapper chipped in with six points in 18 minutes.  Freshman guard Sean Williams continued his impressive play with five points, six rebounds, five dimes and a pair of steals in the loss.

As a team, Fisher connected on 10 shots from distance and shot 28-of-66 (.424) overall from the field.

The Cardinals will look to get back on track at 8 p.m. on Saturday when they host Rochester Institute of Technology in the final game of the Mark’s Pizzeria Crosstown Shootout on Bobby Wanzer Court.

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