NEW ROCHELLE, NY — In a hard-fought, back and forth game against ASA College on Tuesday, a pair of sophomores stepped up in the last moments to help lift the Monroe College Men’s Basketball team to an 80-78 victory. Sophomore Tyler Ancrum drove through the point and earned one of his four assists on a pass to classmate Hampus Ahlin, who sank a 12-footer with less than two seconds left, breaking a 78-78 tie.
The game started with Monroe dominating inside with baskets from Dani Koljanin and Bryan Assie. The Avengers used a timeout, after which they regained the lead and slowly pushed the advantage as high as 14 points (38-24).
The Mustangs turned up the defensive intensity from there, using a 15-1 run to chip away at the lead and tie the score at 39-all at the half. A Koljanin layup inside of three minutes got the Mustangs within single digits, and a free throw from Felix Carlsson evened the score.
Monroe scored first in the second half, and pulled ahead by ten points when a Christopher Burkley three-pointer made the score 59-49 with less than 15 minutes left. A Donald Butler layup brought the score to 73-61 and gave the Mustangs their largest lead of the game (12 points).
ASA spent the final five minutes of regulation erasing the gap, knotting the score at 78-78. Monroe got the ball with seven seconds left and called a timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Ancrum drove into the paint from the top of the key, spun around, and passed to Ahlin, who nailed the jumper inside the paint. A last-second toss from ASA fell short, and Monroe won 80-78.
In the win, five Mustangs reached double-figures in scoring. Assie led the team with 13. Koljanin and Jarron Chapman each totaled a dozen. Burkley and Ahlin had ten apiece.
The Monroe College Men’s Basketball team will spend Thanksgiving weekend in Hagerstown, Maryland at the Hagerstown Invitational. The Mustangs will face Allegany College of Maryland and Hagerstown Community College.