JOHNSTOWN - After falling behind by 15 points late in the second half against Hudson Valley Community College, the Fulton-Montgomery Community College men's basketball team staged a late-game rally.
With 40-seconds left in regulation, Khaleeq Baum put back an offensive rebound to trim the Vikings' 15-point lead to one, 68-67.
However, the rally stalled as Elijah Newsome and Ericco Feaster hit free throws in the closing seconds to help HVCC (7-7 overall, 3-4 conference) escape with a 71-69 Mountain Valley Conference victory Saturday at FMCC.
Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s Khaleeq Baum lays the ball in for two of his eight points against Hudson Valley Community College Saturday at FMCC. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
"Every team we have played is very beatable," FMCC coach Ed Collar said. "We just can't get over the hump. If things would bounce a little different we could easily be 10-4 instead of 4-10."
The teams exchanged baskets through the opening 10 minutes of the first half with the Raiders (4-10 overall, 1-6 conference) holding a 17-16 edge before the Vikings went on a short 6-0 burst to take a 22-17 lead.
The Raiders came back to take the lead 32-31 on Kadeem Stanislas' basket with 1:46 left in the opening half.
The Vikings answered with Nate Monson delivering five points in the final 30 seconds to give HVCC a 36-32 edge heading into the locker room at the break.
HVCC used a pair of short bursts to outscore the Raiders 12-5 early in the second half to build a 48-37 advantage.
The Vikings extended the lead to 15, 60-45, with seven minutes left to play.
The Raiders picked up their intensity and took control in the closing minutes to quickly chop HVCC's lead to a single point.
FMCC could not capitalize on a pair of opportunities in the final 30-seconds and finished on the short end of the 71-69 final score.
"We talked all game about our press," Collar said. "Sometimes we can get five quick guys on the court but we don't deny hard enough during the game and our traps don't close fast enough. I told them at halftime that we need to press the whole game like we are down seven with two minutes to go. We didn't do it. Then when we were down seven with two minutes to go we did but it was too late."
Newsome and Watervliet High School graduate Devonte Gleason finished with 13 points apiece, while Monson and Feaster both had 10 for the Vikings.
Dondre Simmons led FMCC with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Stanislas had 16 points and 12 rebounds. Kenny Barr added 11 points and Baum grabbed 14 rebounds to go with eight points.
"Every team in this region is tough and if you are a little bit off what you are doing for a short stretch of time you are not going to win the game," Collar said. "The last several games, we have had some stretches where we were a little bit off and it was the difference in the games. We haven't had the mental focus for a full 40 minutes."
Hudson Valley Community College 71, Fulton-Montgomery Community College 69
Gleason 5-2-13, Ohanian 0-1-1, Reyes 1-4-6, Feaster 4-2-10, Kaurejo 2-0-4, Newsome 2-9-13, Monson 4-0-10, Melville 1-0-2, Pitcher 1-1-3, Gorman 1-0-3, Suski 2-2-6. Totals: 23-21-71.
Barr 4-3-11, Mercedes 0-2-2, Simmons 9-1-19, Rivera 1-0-2, Stanislas 5-6-16, T. Davis 3-3-9, Baum 3-2-8, Giddings 0-2-2. Totals: 25-19-69.
3-point goals: HVCC 4 (Nate Monson 2, Devonte Gleason, Codi Gorman); FMCC - none.
Halftime: 36-32 HVCC.