Men's basketball ekes out victory over SUNYIT
Matt Hart '16 poured in a season-high 27 points and Hamilton College held off SUNY Institute of Technology 69-63 in a non-conference game at Hamilton’s Margaret Bundy Scott Field House on Dec. 1.
Hart knocked down 3 of 7 from beyond the arc and was a perfect 6-for-6 at the free-throw line. Joseph Lin '15 came off the bench to score 11 points on perfect 4 of 4 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers, and added three assists.
Bradley Gifford '15 dropped in eight points and grabbed five rebounds for the Continentals. Greg Newton '14 added seven points and dished out four assists. Peter Kazickas '15 contributed seven points to go with five boards. Hamilton owns a 26-3 all-time record against the Wildcats.
"Today's win was a great challenge for us coming off Thursday's tough loss to Keystone," head coach Adam Stockwell said. "The guys responded fairly well by defeating a tough, hard-nosed local team. We had some great performances from Joseph Lin and Matt Hart that sparked us to victory. We still need to get more consistent play in all facets of the game, improve our commitment to defense and learn how to take care of the ball to reach our potential."
Desmian Greer '14 notched a game-high 28 points and had a team-high three assists for the Wildcats. T’Andre Richardson '15 chipped in 12 points and Kaleel Johnson '16 recorded eight points and four steals. Derek Rowe '13 tacked on a game-high eight rebounds.
Hamilton (3-3 overall) opened with back-to-back 3-pointers by Hart and Newton. The Wildcats used an 11-2 run to take an 11-8 lead five minutes into the first half. The Continentals responded with an 11-0 run on eight points from Hart and a 3-pointer by Hans Schulte '13.
A layup by Gifford put the Continentals up 30-20 with 5:33 left in the half. The Wildcats began chipping away at the lead, and cut the score to 30-28 after a Richardson layup. Hart drained one final trifecta with 12 seconds left to give Hamilton a 33-28 lead at the break. He finished the half with 14 points.
SUNYIT (0-3) began the second half on a 9-3 run, with five free throws from Greer to take their first lead at 37-36 since the 13:24 mark in the first. After a Gifford free throw tied the score at 37-37, Hart took over with eight consecutive points, and gave the home team the lead for good.
The Wildcats cut their deficit back down to one point twice, including 49-48 with 6:35 left. But Lin scored all seven points in a 7-0 run that pushed Hamilton's lead to 56-48 with 4:50 left to play.
The Continentals led 65-56 after two Hart free throws with 1:20 remaining, but SUNYIT scored seven straight, topped off by a 3-pointer by Greer in the corner to pull within 65-63 with 25 seconds left. Kazickas was fouled and made the first free throw but missed the second. However, two Wildcats went for the loose ball, and fumbled it out of bounds. Newton sunk two free throws and Gifford hit one in the closing seconds to secure the win.
The shooting percentages were nearly even at 44.2 percent for the Continentals and 40 percent for the Wildcats. Hamilton was 7 of 15 from long range while the Wildcats made 4 of 12. The Continentals outscored the visitors 22-2 in bench points to help pave the way.
Hamilton converted 80 percent (16-20) of its free throws compared to 62.5 percent (15-24) for SUNYIT. The Continentals used size to their advantage with a 37-28 rebounding edge and five blocked shots to only one for the visitors.
Hamilton welcomes nationally ranked University of Rochester to Scott Field House for a non-conference matchup on Wednesday, Dec. 5. SUNYIT hosts SUNY Cortland for their home opener on Friday, Dec. 7.