ARLINGTON, Va. – The Marymount University men's basketball team rounded out the non-conference portion of its schedule on Wednesday night with its fifth overtime game of the year, taking down Shenandoah University, 88-81, at the Converse Family Fieldhouse.
Much of the first half played tight with eight lead changes and three ties, but the Saints hit a 12-4 stretch in the final six minutes before the break to carry a 10-point advantage into the locker room.
On the next trip up the court, junior Ryan Albert swatted away a Hornet layup attempt, and the next trip saw a similar result when sophomore Steve Etienne registered a block in the paint. The second block continued the momentum swing, as Walker converted an and-one layup at the other end to put the Saints up seven, 34-27.
Trading baskets down the stretch concluded with an exciting finish to the half when Etienne came up big on defense with a steal, quickly sent the ball up court to freshman Xavier Reaves who knocked in a leaning three-pointer from deep as time expired to give Marymount a 41-31 lead at the break.
For the half, the Saints shot 53.1 percent from the floor as eight players contributed to the hot-shooting first half led by Reaves' 12 points off the bench. Reaves also paced the attack on the glass with six rebounds, three on each side of the court.
The Hornets were able to cut into the Saints' lead to start the second half, getting back to within four, 48-44, but Marymount regained the momentum with a 17-1 run.
The Saints' defensive efforts continued to pay off in the second frame, as Walker corralled another steal, leading to another layup for Benjamin. Walker continued with another steal, before drawing a foul and hitting one of his attempts from the line and capping the stint with a layup for a 61-49 lead.
Reaves threw down a fast-break dunk to keep the Saints lead at nine, 66-57, but the Hornets would not go down without a fight. Shenandoah rode a 15-6 run in the final five minutes of the game to force overtime.
The Saints came out on fire in the extra time, as Walker scored two free throws. Etienne added two layups, sandwiching another layup by Reaves, pushing the score to 80-72. They would not look back from there, converting on 8-of-10 free throws down the stretch to put the game away, including five from junior Josh Giardina.
Reaves scored a career-high 19 points to lead the team, hitting 8-of-10 shots from the floor, including two from long range; he added a career-high 16 rebounds, as well, to lead on the boards.
In all, the Saints saw five score in double-figures, while Walker gathered four steals to go with 12 points.
Marymount will return to action on Saturday, January 19 in Atlantic East Conference play at Wesley College; the opening tip is set for 2 p.m.