DANVILLE — Wake Tech sophomore Joshua Mellette scored six of his game-high 31 points in overtime to lead the Eagles past the Potomac State Catamounts 93-85 in an NJCAA Division II National Tournament first-round contest at the Mary Miller Gymnasium on the campus of Danville Area Community College.
“This was big,’’ said Mellette. “This is our school’s first year here. It’s a great experience, but we also want to win the National Championship.’’
Wake Tech (24-10) felt right at home in the overtime period as the Eagles advanced to the National Tournament with a pair of overtime victories over No. 1-rated Richard Bland and Louisburg College in their Region Tournament.
“We continued to fight,’’ said Wake Tech coach Joe Mitchell. “We’ve had the experience over playing in overtime, so it wasn’t something new to us. We knew what it took to come out with a victory.
“We just had to make sure to stay together. We have been here before (in overtime) and we knew what to do.’’
The two teams exchanged the lead three times in the final 22.8 seconds, and it looked like a 3-pointer by Michael Adams with 4.7 seconds was enough for Wake Tech, who took a 79-77 lead.
But, Potomac State rushed back down the court and freshman Derondell Jenkins was credited with a basket with 00.5 seconds left as Wake Tech was called for goal tending.
“The ref made the call, I thought it was actually a foul call,’’ Mitchell said. “Things happen. It’s tournament time, it can go either way. Our guys continued to fight, because we knew we had an overtime game.’’
The Catamounts (20-9) also tried to rally in the overtime period, but instead of going to the basket, Potomac State’s Reggie Baker, who had a team-high 28 points, attempted a pair of 3-pointers.