CONCORD—On March 5, 2005 the buzzer signaled the end of a nail biter basketball game between the NHTI Lynx Men’s Basketball team and the Golden State Baptist team from Santa Clara, CA. NHTI won by two points in a 72-70 game making history as the first men’s basketball team in New Hampshire history to win a national championship. On March 11, 2020 they did it again!
The NHTI Lynx Men’s Basketball team traveled to Uniontown, PA to compete in the United State Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Division II National Championship. Entering as the fourth seed for the competition NHTI Men’s Coach and Athletic Director Paul Hogan knew they would have to keep their focus and drive in order to compete. “This team is brand new, we had only one player return from last year. They really have become something special, a real tight group!” he said. The sixteen games straight games they won before entering the competition showed him how committed they were to the game and each other.
NHTI’s first game on March 8, 2020 NHTI competed against number five seed Penn State Mont Alto where they won 76-70. Advancing to the next round on March 10, 2020, NHTI was pitted against the number ranked Johnson & Wales University Charlotte where they won handily with a score of 98-76. The energy and momentum could be felt all the way here in New Hampshire, with many watching the game online. Then came the do or die game against Penn State Greater Allegheny on March 11, 2020.
The game really was the epitome of championship games, lots of ties and back and forth. NHTI kept the lead when Jymir Thompson landed a three-pointer with just 4:32 left in the game bringing the score to 66-64. NHTI’s Sean Riley hit two free throws at 2:02 to lead with 71-66 and then he sank a foul shot with three seconds left to clinch the game at 74-70.
NHTI also brought home a few honors with Sean Riley making the All-Tournament Team and JQ Thurmond receiving the Most Valuable Player honor. All in all, the season brought huge smiles to the faces of the players, the assistant coaches, Irvin Harris, Darren Johnson, Travis Maser and Simon Keeling and all of NHTI. Congratulations 2020 USCAA Men’s Division II Champions, a well deserved championship.
More information may be found at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) website at https://www.theuscaa.com.