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Athletics

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Men's Basketball

Overview

Peter Kazickas '15, Joseph Lin '15 and Matt Magruder '15 lead the Hamilton College men's basketball program into 2014-15. The Continentals finished 14-11 overall and tied for fifth place in the NESCAC with a 5-5 record last season. Hamilton advanced to the NESCAC championship quarterfinals for the second time in three seasons and led the conference with a plus-2.72 turnover margin. Kazickas finished fifth in the conference in field goal percentage at 56.5 percent and Ajani Santos '16 was 10th at 52.7 percent. Jack Donnelly '16 topped the NESCAC in 3-point field goal percentage as he made 25 of 54 shots for 46.3 percent.

The NESCAC is one of the top athletic conferences in NCAA Division III and men's basketball is no exception. Three NESCAC teams played in the 2014 NCAA championship, two advanced to the semifinals and one played for the national title. The NESCAC boasts three NCAA titles and four runner-up finishes since 1995. The conference champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

The 2014-15 schedule is highlighted by the six-team Hamilton Invitational on Nov. 29 and 30 that includes local rivals Utica College and SUNY Polytechnic. NESCAC home games are as follows: Amherst College (Jan. 9), Trinity College (Jan. 10), Williams College (Jan. 24), Wesleyan University (Feb. 13) and Connecticut College (Feb. 14). Hamilton plays inside 2,000-seat Margaret Bundy Scott Field House.

Kazickas was selected to the 2014 Allstate National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Good Works TeamĀ®. This community service honor recognizes college basketball players who have made a commitment to improving their communities and the lives of others. The team is comprised of five student-athletes from NCAA Division I and five more from NCAA Divisions II and III and the NAIA. Kazickas worked with "Hoops 4 Hope" in Zimbabwe during the summers of 2011 and 2013 when he helped repair basketball facilities and the Hoops 4 Hope Center.

The Continentals earned a spot on the 2013-14 NABC Team Academic Excellence Awards list. The award recognizes outstanding academic achievement by a team with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better for the 2013-14 season. Kazickas and Magruder were on the NABC Honors Court, which recognizes men's collegiate basketball student-athletes who excelled in academics during the past season. Magruder made the 2014 NESCAC Winter All-Academic Team. Each honoree is a varsity letter winner with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.35. The student-athlete must have reached sophomore academic standing to be considered for honors.

In 2011-12, the Continentals started 8-0 and locked up a NESCAC championship quarterfinal berth on the regular season's final weekend with wins against Tufts University and Bates College in Hamilton's first season in the conference. The Continentals ended up with a 15-10 record and were led by NESCAC all-conference pick Pat Sullivan '12, who went on to play professionally in Ireland.

The 6-foot, 7-inch Sullivan became the 32nd player in program history to score 1,000 points in a career in February 2011. He ended up ninth on the Continentals' all-time list with 1,439 points. Sullivan was a 2011 Division III East Region All-District first team selection by the NABC and was voted the Liberty League offensive player of the year. Ephraim McDowell '12 was in fourth place on Hamilton's all-time list with 164 3-point field goals made when he graduated.

From 1995 to 2011, the Continentals dominated the Liberty League. Hamilton's league record in 16 seasons was 155-59 and the Continentals reached the league tournament championship game eight times in 12 years. Hamilton captured four tournament titles -- the last of which was in 2006 with a 107-72 dismantling of Union College in the final.

Hamilton appeared in the postseason 35 straight years from 1975 to 2009. The Continentals have played in nine NCAA Division III championship tournaments and have advanced to the third round three times. Hamilton captured 10 Eastern College Athletic Conference Upstate Region tournament crowns from 1976 to 1992. Hamilton has won more than 1,000 games since 1899 and passed the milestone in 2007-08 with 17 victories.

More Hamilton men's basketball players have earned more All-America awards than any other Division III program as 14 Continentals have received 22 All-America honors. Tsakani Ngobeni '07 was the most recent All-American in 2007 when he was voted to the second team. Two-time All-American Michael Smith '92 holds the Division III record with 1,628 rebounds in a career. Cedric Oliver '79 and Michael Schantz '99 scored more than 2,000 points in their careers. The Continentals own a 10-9 record in the NCAA championship and they are 57-29 all-time in postseason play for a .663 winning percentage. Hamilton men's basketball has won 20 or more games in a season 16 times, including 23 victories in 2005-06. The program record for wins in a season is 26 in 1990-91 when the Continentals finished 26-1 and were ranked No. 1 in the final Division III poll.