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Mercer 48 Burlington 47.

Postgame audio - Coach Howie Levy:

It was a comeback every bit as improbable as Princeton's 1999 Miracle at the Palestra and the only connection between the Tigers' rally from down 27 in the second half against Penn and what Mercer County Community College (20-9) pulled off with less time remaining tonight in the Region XIX quarterfinals versus Burlington was Howie Levy '85 on the sidelines.

"It brings back good memories," Levy said with a chuckle following his team's 20th victory of the season. "I've been on the right side of it both times!"

Lost offensively versus a switching zone, unable to score with any consistency for almost 30 minutes, lacking energy on several defensive rebounds and decisively trailing 38-19 with 10:03 to go, the Vikings unexpectedly found their rhythm, forced a number of steals in the half court and ran off the game's next 21 points uninterrupted to take a two point lead with 4:05 remaining.

"Holy cow. That was something else," said Levy. "These guys looked liked they were throwing in the towel. Somewhere, somehow - they figured it out. When they started playing hard and started playing together is when things started going our way."

Also like the 50-49 comeback in Philadelphia, Mercer caught the Barons with plenty of time remaining.

"When we got the lead I was chuckling to myself," Levy admitted. "I could not believe we got the lead."

"With about four minutes to go it became a basketball game," Levy added. "That's what you wanted."

While both ends of a one-and-one from MCCC's Mustafa El-Amin moved the home team in front three with just over a minute to go, a left wing falling down three pointer evened the score for just the third time all night.

Mercer was tied up in the post, which gave Burlington the ball back with :42.9 showing.

With seven seconds between the shot clock and the game clock, the Barons ran time down until Tariq Jett was bumped going to his left on the far baseline. At the line Jett put his team back in front by one but his second free throw was a touch long.

Andre Wilburn rebounded in traffic and as Burlington relaxed slightly on defense Tyliek Kimbrough was able to break open from Christopher Thompson cutting in the opposite direction on the left wing, take a long outlet and drive for a basket just beyond Jacob Ogenyi's reach with four ticks to go.

It was Kimbrough's only basket of the game after missing his first six attempts.

A deep right wing three by Thompson was off the mark at the buzzer and a small court-storming took place on the floor named after former coach Howie Landa as Mercer's players rightfully went berserk.

El-Amin scored 20 for Mercer, the only Viking in double figures. It was El-Amin who authored the comeback with a series of three point shots, shooting 7-15 from the field while the rest of his team went 11-34.

It sounds funny in retrospect but a key to the victory might have been MCCC holding the Barons to 18 first half points while Mercer was only mustering 13 of their own.

Otherwise the deficit might have been even larger, though perhaps it only meant the comeback that followed would have been all the more incredible.

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