The Razorsharks missed a chance to tie late and dropped the opener of the three-game PBL championship series Thursday night to Kentucky 91-88.
The game was tied at halftie, but two buckets by Ben Vozzola caused an 8-0 run for the Mavericks to put them up 69-63 at the end of the 3rd quarter.
The Razorsharks started the fourth quarter with a John Ivy drive to the basket to cut the lead to four. Deverell Biggs also attacked the basket on consecutive possessions to tie the game up at 71 at the first mandatory timeout of the quarter.
Back to back three pointers by Anthony Jackson and Chris Hagen put the Mavercks up three before Corey Allmond answered with a long jumper of his own.
Kentucky used jumpers by Nick Waddell and Anthony Jackson to get the lead up to seven before Corey Allmond answered again with two three pointers and a James Helton put back to tie the game at 82 apiece with only 3:33 left.
Two free throws by Anthony Jackson were answered by a Melvin Council layup on the other end.
Stan Simpson threw down a huge dunk off an offensive rebound for Kentucky and then a stop by the Mavericks on the defensive end let Chris Hagen get to the basket to spread the lead out to four with less than a minute left.
Rochester’s Melvin Council went to the line with 56.2 seconds left looking to cut the lead in half but missed both free throws. Gerald DeVaughn missed a jumper for Kentucky and Jerice Crouch made a mad dash to the basket to cut the lead to two with 18.3 seconds remaining.
A quick foul by the Razorsharks put DeVaughn to the line with a chance to extend the lead, which he did by making both free throws.
Crouch launched a three but missed. However, the Razorsharks got the rebound and Crouch was then fouled behind the arc. Crouch made two free throws and missed the third free throw on purpose hoping to grab the rebound. They were unsuccessful and Anthony Jackson made one free throw and the Mavericks pulled out a 91-88 victory.
Five players scored in double figures, with two notching double-doubles: Stan Simpson (16 pts, 13 rebs) and Nick Waddell (15 points, 10 rebs). Anthony Jackson had 14 huge points off the bench.
Jerice Crouch had 18 points to lead the way for Rochester. Melvin Council had 16 points with James Helton scoring 11 points for the Razorsharks. Jordan Railey pulled down 11 rebounds. In an evenly matched game the score was tied nine times and the lead changed 14 times.
Game 2 will take place in Rochester on Sunday, April 9 at the Blue Cross Arena. Game time is 2:00 PM EST.
Game 3, if necessary, is also in Rochester Tuesday night.