By: Matthew MacCormack
Elon, N.C — The Northeastern bench looked barren prior to tip-off Thursday night.
Junior Devon Begley (wrist) and sophomores Donnell Gresham (wrist) and Jeremy Miller (knee) were all back in Boston with injuries. Senior Alex Murphy (the team’s second leading scorer) was a late scratch from the trip, for what the team called “personal reasons.”
Losers of nine of their last 11, NU was down to just seven players.
It was going to take something extraordinary for the Huskies to upend Elon at Alumni Gymnasium, where the Phoenix toted a 9-3 record.
Extraordinary was just what they got.
Freshman Bolden Brace dropped 40 points, including a school-record 10 threes, to guide Northeastern to a 105-104, double-overtime victory. Elon sophomore Tyler Seibring (30 points, 12 rebounds) hit a fallaway jumper at the end of regulation to force overtime, but missed a similar look as time expired in the second overtime to seal the deal for the Huskies(15-14, 8-9 CAA).
“I’ve been at Northeastern for 11 years now,” head coach Bill Coen said post-game. “Given the circumstances and the numbers, That was as good a win to cobble together that I’ve been associated with.”
Brace joins NU legends J.J. Barea and Reggie Lewis as the only Huskies to reach the 40-point mark in a game. The freshman had 28 of the Huskies’ 43 points at the half, including a seven of 10 clip from beyond the arc.
“It’s the best feeling in the world,” said Brace, who played all 50 minutes. “When you see the ball go through the basket that many times in one game, there’s no feeling like it.”
Senior T.J. Williams posted the program’s first triple-double since 2006 with a tremendous 26-point, 10-rebound, 12-assist effort. Sophomore big man Anthony Green chipped in a double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) before fouling out late, and senior Jimmy Marshall (15 points) and freshman Max Boursiquot (13 points) also hit double figures.
NU topped 100 points for the first time in the Bill Coen era (2006-present).
“We have about 5 guys back home, we almost have more guys back home than we do here,” Coen said.
“The way guys stepped up and guys are in different roles, and in a very difficult place to win, against a team that’s playing as well and anyone in the CAA; I just couldn’t be prouder of that group in the locker room.”
The Huskies will battle UNCW on Saturday in Trask Arena. Jeremy Leopold and Matt MacCormack will have the call, with pre-game coverage starting at 1:45 p.m. Follow the link for our exclusive stream: http://www.wrbbsports.com/listen-live/.