SOMERS, Wisc.-After Michael Parrish's layup gave the Bellarmine Knights a 71-69 lead with just 4.6 seconds remaining in regulation, the host Wisconsin-Parkside Rangers went the length of the court and converted a layup at the buzzer to tie the game and force overtime, where they pulled out an 85-82 upset victory in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game in DeSimone Gymnasium on Thursday night.
Andy Mazurczak came up big for the No. 14/24 Rangers as the senior guard got the game-tying score, and then canned a jumper with 13 seconds remaining in the overtime period to help seal the win. The senior guard finished the game with 26 points and eight rebounds as the Rangers extended their home conference winning streak to 28 games.
The No. 5/6 Knights' Achilles' heel was rebounding as Wisconsin-Parkside grabbed 15 offensive rebounds and outscored the Knights 17-3 in second chance points. Overall, the Rangers held a 44-27 advantage on the glass.
"It was a dead even game except in one area," said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. "They had three players (Mazurczak, Goran Zagorc and Kyle Flanagan)... play 84 minutes, and those three guys tied the 11 guys we played 225 minutes in rebounding. They had a total of 27; we had a total of 27."
The first half opened with runs by each team. After the Knights had gone to the first media timeout with a 13-6 lead, the Rangers came out and ran off 13 straight points to claim a 19-13 advantage. Bellarmine answered with an 8-0 run to reclaim the lead 21-19.
The nationally-ranked teams then battled back and forth with seven ties before the Knights took a 38-36 lead into halftime.
In the second period, the Knights eased out to a seemingly comfortable 7-point advantage. However, with the score 51-44 in favor of Bellarmine, the Rangers misfired on a 3-pointer, but got the offensive board and drained their second chance at a triple to slice the lead to four.
On the ensuing possession, Bellamine missed a shot, got the offensive rebound, but turned it over. Again, UWP struck with a second-chance triple to trim the margin to just one. From that point, neither team led by more than four the remainder of regulation.
"It's a game of moments," Davenport said, "and we lost the moments tonight. Consequently, we lost the game."
A hard fought game throughout, the contest featured 18 ties and seven lead changes.
"We played hard...we had 33 deflections," Davenport said. "We just didn't play well."
Bellarmine continued to shoot well, making 50.8 percent of their shots on the night, but converted just six of 17 three-pointers (35.3 percent). Coming into the game, the Knights were leading the conference in field goal percentage defense, but the Rangers were able to shoot nearly 48 percent from the field while making eight of 20 from long range.
The loss snaps Bellarmine's 11-game winning streak and drops the Knights to 14-3 overall and 7-1 in the conference, which is tied with Wisconsin-Parkside and Indianapolis for the top spot in the GLVC East. The Rangers upped their overall record to 14-2.
The Knights now travel to Romeoville, Illinois to face the Lewis Flyers on Saturday afternoon. The Flyers defeated Southern Indiana 84-77 on Thursday night to improve to 13-5, 5-3 GLVC.