Cannoneers fall in spite of Grant's 20-20 double-double

Cannoneers fall in spite of Grant's 20-20 double-double

BROOKLYN -- A blemishless start to 2016-17 took an ugly turn late Thursday night, as a five-point possession in the game's final minute helped visiting Touro College upend Pratt, 87-79, at in non-league men's basketball play.

An 8-0 Touro run over a span of 1:59 starting at the 2:12 mark was the difference. Tornados guard Ari Silberstein led all players with 33 points, and Touro forward Shmumel Bitton followed with 20 on 9-10 shooting. 

Cannoneers senior forward Ari Grant poured in 24 points to go along with game-highs of 21 rebounds and four blocks, but the rest of his team shot only 31 percent (19-62) as Pratt fell for the first time in three contests. 

An Ephrain Weidner layup at the 13:00 minute mark of the first half landed Touro (1-1) its largest lead of the frame at 18-12. Pratt responded with a 7-0 run capped by an Akil Philip fast break layup after a sprawling Grant steal at midcourt, taking a 19-18 lead at the 10:54 mark. 

Six minutes later, a Bitton jumper tied the game at 31-31, and a pair of Andrew Yaglenski free throws in the final minute sent Pratt into half leading 40-37.

The teams exchanged leads and forced ties for much of the early portion of the second half. TwoGrant free throws with 11:51 to play marked Pratt's last lead at 58-57, and two Bitton free throws 35 seconds later swung the lead in the Tornados favor for good. 

Grant's three-pointer with 5:00 to play brought the Cannoneers within a point, at 72-71, and a Vishal Vanka triple at 2:11 made it a two-point game, 78-76. With the ball and a chance to tie or take the lead, a Vanka turnover was compounded by a personal foul and technical foul from Philip, after which Silberstein sank three free throws, Touro retained possession, and a Silberstein layup put the game away for good, leading 83-76 with under a minute left. 

Vanka and Yaglenski added 17 points each, but shot a combined 5-17 from three-point land, where the team shot only 24 percent (7-29). 

At 2-1, Pratt returns to play Friday night at Sarah Lawrence College in non-conference play.