BROOKLINE, Mass. - Wildcats freshman Erick Hernandez (Tampa, Fla.) finished with 19 points, but none were bigger than a game-tying three-point shot with 13 seconds remaining to force the game into overtime. Hernandez scored six more in the extra frame helping the Wheelock Wildcats to an 89-86 win over the Newbury Nighthawks on Wednesday evening in New England Collegiate Conference action.
Senior Kiwane Crowder (Milwaukee, Wis.) looked for a lane to the basket on the game-tying shot, but with no avenue, he passed to Hernandez who made the 28-footer from the top of the arc to tie the game at 78-78.
Wildcats junior Dejuan Rodriguez (New Britain, Conn.) finished with a game-high 30 points and 15 rebounds in 44 minutes. Crowder finished the game with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Junior Kadeem Apply (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.) added 10 points off the bench.
Nighthawks senior Daivon Edwards (Roxbury, Mass.) finished with a team-high 29 points in 42 minutes. Freshman Miguel Rivera (Waterbury, Conn.) finished with 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting. Senior Jeduan Langston (Roxbury, Mass.) added 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Edwards looked like he put the game out of reach by making a fadeaway three-pointer while falling to the ground with 40 seconds left and giving the Nighthawks a 77-71 lead. However, a series of free throws and Hernandez's three capped an 8-2 Wildcats run that sent the game to overtime.
In the overtime session, the Wildcats scored the first five points to lead 83-78. Rodriguez made a pair of foul shots while Hernandez made yet another perimeter shot.
The Nighthawks used a 6-1 spurt to tie the game back up at 84-84 with 56 seconds remaining.
But the Hernandez once again came through in the clutch for the Wildcats, draining another three-point shot to give the Wildcats an 87-84 lead with 38 seconds remaining. Hernandez scored nine points on 3-for-3 from deep in the final six minutes, including the game-tying three.
The Nighthawks would have their chance to tie but freshman Cinque Williams' (West Haven, Conn.) three-point shot was no good at the buzzer, giving the Wildcats the 89-86 win.
The win moves the Wheelock to 5-18 (4-9 NECC) while the loss drops the Nighthawks to 4-20 (2-11 NECC).
One game remains on both teams regular season schedule. The Nighthawks travel to Southern Vermont on Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. game while the Wildcats host Dean College on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.