Men's basketball posts tournament win over Alfred State
The Hamilton College Continentals closed out 2013 with a lopsided 82-51 win against the Alfred State College Pioneers in the consolation game of Medaille College’s Knee Center of Western New York Holiday Tournament at the Sullivan Center on Tuesday afternoon.
The Continentals (6-4 overall), who snapped a two-game losing streak, exploded for a season-high 51 first-half points. Hamilton broke open a close game with a 29-0 run during the final seven minutes of the first half.
Hamilton posted season-best performances in five categories and four players scored in double figures. Matt Hart '16 led the Continentals with 14 points in just 21 minutes, and Bradley Gifford '15 recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and a career-high 15 rebounds in 23 minutes of action. Gifford added three steals.
Hart, who averaged 15.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game during the tournament, was named to the all-tournament team.
Greg Newton '14 scored 13 points and Kyle Pitman '17 contributed 10 (one short of his career high) and a season-best four steals. Hamilton’s defense allowed just 15 baskets and collected 16 steals – both were the team’s top performances of the year – and held the Pioneers (1-11) to 37.5 percent shooting from the floor.
Ajani Santos '16 matched a career high with nine points. Matt Magruder '15 pulled down a personal-high five rebounds, helping the Continentals to a 44-28 advantage on the boards. Alfred State’s 28 rebounds and four offensive rebounds were both season-low efforts by Hamilton opponents.
The Continentals gained control with a dominating run to close out the first half. After the teams traded the lead nine times in the opening 12 minutes, Hamilton erased the Pioneers’ last lead on a 3-pointer by Jack Donnelly '16. The Continentals, who went up 22-20 on the play, didn’t allow another basket the rest of the period and took a 51-22 cushion into the break.
The Pioneers’ futility from the floor lasted until the 17:47 mark of the second half, giving them just four free throws over a span of 10:36. Tommy Hutson scored a game-high 19 points for Alfred State, including 11 at the free-throw line. Hutson's seven rebounds and two assists also led the Pioneers. Tavon Moore added 11 points, six rebounds and three steals.
The Continentals host SUNY New Paltz at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4, in the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House, marking their first home game in 25 days. Alfred State returns to action on Monday with a home contest against SUNY Canton.