Men's basketball edges Oneonta on the road
Hamilton College's Bradley Gifford '15 posted his second straight double-double and the Continentals rallied late for an 87-84 non-conference road win against the SUNY Oneonta Red Dragons on Nov. 19.
Gifford tied his career high with 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the third double-double of his Hamilton career. Matt Hart '16 led the Continentals with 20 points and added eight boards. Greg Newton '14 chipped in 19 points, six assists and three steals. Joseph Lin '15 scored nine points off the bench and Peter Kazickas '15 and Jack Donnelly '16 added eight apiece.
Oneonta's Zach Mager led all players with 27 points. Mikey McElroy registered 16 points and eight rebounds, Dan Lee had 13 points and Jack Dignan ended up with 11 points and eight assists before he fouled out. The Red Dragons went 28-for-34 (82.4 percent) at the line but shot just 38.5 percent (10-26) from the floor in the second half.
Oneonta (1-2 overall) led 45-39 at the half and its advantage fluctuated between 1 and 10 points for more than 17 minutes in the second half. A Newton jumper tied the score at 77-77 with 2:38 left. McElroy made two free throws and put the Red Dragons back up by two points with 2:14 remaining. Gifford knotted the score at 79-79 with a dunk before Mager gave Oneonta a three-point advantage on his fifth trifecta of the night with 1:30 to go.
Lin answered with his own basket from long range that brought Hamilton even again at 82-82 with 1:11 left. After Newton rebounded a miss at the other end, Lin put the Continentals ahead for good on a layup with 34 seconds remaining.
The Red Dragons came back down and missed a layup and Gifford grabbed the rebound. Newton made the first free throw and missed the second but Lin was there for the offensive rebound, and Oneonta was forced to foul again. This time Newton missed the first and made the second for an 86-82 cushion with 21 seconds left.
Lee's two free throws with 13 seconds to go pulled the Red Dragons within two points and they fouled Gifford right away. Gifford went 1-for-2 at the line and Oneonta still had a chance to tie, but the Red Dragons committed a turnover in the closing seconds. Lin and Gifford changed the game with the huge rebounds and getting to the loose balls that helped earn the win.
Hamilton (2-1) went on an 8-0 run early in the first half that turned an 11-10 deficit into an 18-11 lead with just six minutes gone by. Oneonta countered with a 14-1 spurt for a 25-19 advantage with 11:05 left in the first half. The Red Dragons led the rest of the half and took their largest lead of the night at 44-33 on a layup by McElroy with 2:40 remaining before the break.
Both teams shot well from outside. The Continentals made 7 of 16 shots from beyond the arc and Oneonta was 8 of 18 from 3-point range. The teams were whistled for a total of 48 fouls.
Hamilton hosts D'Youville College in the first round of its own invitational on Friday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m.