St. Edward’s men’s basketball defeats WNMU in triple overtime thriller


Audrey Cahak / Hilltop Views

Daniel Venzant finished the game 13-13 from the free throw line in their win against Western New Mexico.

It took three overtimes, but the St. Edward’s men’s basketball team defeated Western New Mexico 111-108 in triple overtime Thursday, Jan. 27. Daniel Venzant led all scorers with 35 points, Uche Dibiamaka added 25 and Blake Nielsen recorded a career high 13 rebounds in the win. 

Going into halftime, the Hilltoppers held a slim seven-point advantage, 43-36, but the Mustangs refused to go down without a fight and took back control in the second half. Down by four, the Hilltoppers scored the final four points of the half to send the game into overtime. 

With the game tied 77-77, WNMU won the tip in the first overtime as the momentum swung in their favor for most of the first overtime. With just under two minutes to go, the Mustangs held a commanding five-point lead. SEU battled back, but with just over a second left on the clock WNMU took a three-point lead. A three from the left arc by Bennet Mohn as time expired would save the Hilltoppers and send the game into another overtime.

In the second overtime it was SEU that had a slim two-point lead with eight seconds to go in the game following a Uche Dibiamaka layup. The Mustangs had a shot to take a one-point lead, but a missed free throw would send the game to a third overtime. 

“We just had to stay locked in and had to make winning plays in order to get the win,” Venzant said when asked about him and his team’s mindset entering that third and final overtime. Making a winning play is exactly what Venzant did as he made the game’s final basket, leaving less than a second on the clock for WNMU.  

“It felt great. Was just happy to pull out the win. And it was a great team win and a lot of the guys made big time plays in order to get that win. So it was just a great team win,” Venzant said following the team’s victory. 

One thing that definitely helped the team win was their home crowd cheering them on, as most fans stuck around for the entirety of the game. When asked about the fans Venzant had this to say: “It felt great to get that win. The energy from the crowd was great, they really helped us get that win!”

With the incredible win, St. Edward’s improved 10-9 on the year and 3-5 in conference play. They return to action on Monday, hosting West Texas A&M at 3 pm.