Men's basketball edged in final seconds by Rensselaer

Russ Rosenband '12
Russ Rosenband '12
Rensselaer hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to defeat Hamilton College 67-66 in the Liberty League and regular season finale for both teams at Rensselaer's East Campus Arena on Feb. 20.

Down 63-56 with 32 seconds remaining, RPI mounted its comeback with a 3-pointer to cut the Hamilton lead to four at 63-59. With nine seconds left and the possession arrow in their favor, the Engineers pulled to within one point on a 3-point play.

A foul with eight seconds left sent Jay Simpson ‘10 to the line, where he sank both free throws for a 65-62 lead. Hamilton fouled RPI to avoid the game-tying 3-point shot, and the Engineers made both free throws to slice their deficit to one point again.

A missed free throw by the Continentals was followed by an RPI turnover, and Simpson once again went to the line with 2.7 seconds left. He missed the first but canned the second to put Hamilton up 66-64.

After a timeout called by the Continentals, RPI pulled off a double inbound and sent a long arching pass down the court. One of the Engineers was able to grab the ball in traffic and make an off-balance three-point shot before the buzzer sounded for the dramatic victory.

The Continentals (10-14 overall, 6-8 Liberty) had four players reach double figures, including Russ Rosenband ‘12 and Pat Sullivan ‘12, who posted 16 points apiece.  Sullivan also had nine rebounds, while Rosenband grabbed six. Simpson added 15 points, while Joe Manns ‘10 scored 12.

Rensselaer (15-9, 7-7) opened the first half with a 12-6 advantage and led by as many as eight points at 20-12 before the Continentals took control midway through the half. Led by Rosenband, who had 11 points in the first half, Hamilton went on a 6-0 run and led 34-27 with 2:21 remaining in the half. The Engineers were able to close the gap with two 3-pointers and made it 34-33 at the half.

There were four ties early in the second half and Rensselaer clung to a 45-44 advantage with 14:23 remaining. The Continentals scored the next eight points, and when Sullivan buried a jumper with 9:45 left, the score was 52-45. Hamilton's largest lead was 10 points at 57-47 with 6:40 remaining.

As a team, the Engineers were 8 of 18 from 3-point range, including 5 of 10 in the second half. RPI shot 48 percent from the field. Hamilton shot 40 percent from the floor, and were 10-for-19 at the charity stripe. The Continentals shot just 21 percent from beyond the arc. Rosenband was 4 of 9 on 3-pointers and the rest of the team was 0 of 10.
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