Share This Page

Thiel basketball still buzzing after finishing 4OT win with 4 players

| Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, 10:48 p.m.

The basketball game started with a small gathering of 250 people filling about half of Beeghly Gymnasium at Thiel College.

Then, Thiel and St. Vincent started to score points at a near-record pace Wednesday night, and word got around the tiny campus in Greenville that something special was happening in the gym.

When Thiel coach Tim Loomis looked up in the fourth overtime, the crowd had doubled, but the number of players on the floor had dwindled by one. Thiel played the final 2:38 of the fourth overtime with four players against five, but beat the defending Presidents' Athletic Conference champion, anyway, 124-121.

“It was a nice win for the kids,” Loomis said. “They really worked for it.”

Thiel dressed 11 players, but seven fouled out, setting a Division III record. Overall, a record-tying 11 players fouled out after officials called 90 fouls.

The game was played at the same time and only 76 miles from Cleveland where the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers had no bench players remaining after Robert Sacre fouled out with 3:32 left. NBA rules don't permit a team to play with four, so the Lakers accepted a technical foul, Sacre stayed in the game, and the Lakers beat the Cavaliers, 119-108.

Thiel's game was the second-highest scoring game in PAC history, and the 124 free-throw attempts set another Division III record.

The Tomcats (8-10, 5-7) hit 35 of 46, scoring seven of nine points on free throws after falling behind, 116-115, with 1:33 left.

St. Vincent (17-3, 10-1) suffered its first conference loss despite sinking 55 of 78 free throws.

St. Vincent's Dillon Stith scored 50 points. It was the first time in 30 years a PAC player recorded that many points, with 26 coming from the foul line.

Loomis, a former Cal (Pa.) head coach and Penn State assistant, said it was the third time in his 25-year career he was forced to finish a game with fewer than five players. He won two of them, including a freshman game at Cal in the late 1970s when legendary coach Eddie McCluskey taught him a 1-3 zone.

Asked if he planned to give his players Thursday off or, perhaps, take it easy at practice, he said, “That probably won't happen. No days off. I'm still an old-timer.”

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.