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Athletics

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Varsity Sports

Men's Basketball

Overview

Matt Hart '16 and team captains Greg Newton '14, Matt Dean '14 and Peter Kazickas '15 lead the Hamilton College men's basketball program into 2013-14. Eight players started seven or more games in 2012-13 and four of those eight return this season. Hart enjoyed a fantastic rookie year as he ranked sixth in the NESCAC in scoring at 15.3 points per game, third in free throw percentage at 85.1 percent, tied for seventh in three-point field goals made (2.04/game) and tied for 10th in steals (1.25/game). Newton also averaged in double figures in scoring with 10.5 points per game, and Bradley Gifford '15 ranked eighth in the conference with 4.71 defensive rebounds per game. Ken Click '13 ended his Hamilton career in sixth place on the team's all-time list with 103 blocked shots.

The NESCAC is one of the top athletic conferences in NCAA Division III, and men's basketball is no exception. All three NESCAC teams that played in the 2013 NCAA championship advanced to the quarterfinals and one captured the national title. The NESCAC boasts three NCAA titles and three runner-up finishes. The conference tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA championship.

The 2013-14 schedule is highlighted by the Hamilton Invitational on Nov. 22 and 23. Utica College, Widener University and D'Youville College round out the tournament field. The Continentals also play in a holiday tournament at Medaille College in late December. NESCAC home games are as follows: Colby College (Jan. 17), Bowdoin College (Jan. 18), Middlebury College (Feb. 2), Tufts University (Feb. 7) and Bates College (Feb. 8). Hamilton plays inside 2,000-seat Margaret Bundy Scott Field House.

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 and Bates 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 National Association of Basketball Coaches 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 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 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 players 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 57-28 all-time in postseason play for a .671 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 was ranked No. 1 in the final Division III poll.

Eric Benvenuti '13 made the 2012-13 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.