Men's Basketball Advances to 3rd Round of the NCAA Championship
Hamilton College's Kena Gilmour '20 scored 20 points and the Continentals edged York College of Pennsylvania 69-66 in a 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship second round game at York's Charles Wolf Gymnasium on Saturday night.
Nationally ranked No. 13 Hamilton (24-4 overall) moves on to the third round of the NCAA championship for the fifth time in program history and the first time since 2003. The Continentals will take on Springfield College — a 96-88 winner at Cabrini University on Saturday night — on Friday, March 9 at a site to be determined. Hamilton has a 12-9 record in 10 NCAA appearances. The Continentals' 24 wins are their second-highest total for one season.
Nationally ranked No. 13 Hamilton (24-4 overall) moves on to the third round of the NCAA championship for the fifth time in program history and the first time since 2003.
Gilmour, who leads Hamilton in scoring at 17.8 points per game, has notched 20 or more points in six of the last seven contests. He also grabbed seven rebounds and had five of the Continentals' 12 steals.
Hamilton's Tim Doyle '19 scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half and handed out five assists. Joe Pucci '18 and Michael Grassey '19 chipped in eight points apiece. Peter Hoffmann '19 was limited to 16 minutes due to foul trouble and eventually fouled out, but contributed three steals before he left the game with 5:17 remaining. The Continentals scored 16 points off 21 York turnovers.
The 11th-ranked Spartans (24-5) held a 42-30 advantage on the glass but shot 38.8 percent from the floor. Dalton Myers paced York with 20 points and eight boards, and Matt Scamuffo dropped in 19 points. Jared Wagner posted 11 points, six assists and four steals. Blayde Reich led all players with three blocked shots. The Spartans started the season 16-0 and came into the night averaging nearly 83 points per game. York has a 5-6 record in five trips to the NCAA championship.
The game was tight throughout as neither team led by double digits and there were eight ties and 15 lead changes. The Spartans held a 40-39 edge at halftime but a Hoffmann steal led to a Gilmour layup 23 seconds into the second half and Hamilton led the rest of the way.
The Continentals took their largest lead of the night of eight points at 64-56 on two Gilmour free throws with 6:40 left. York pulled within two points with 5:17 to go as Wagner made a layup and Myers added two baskets in the paint. Grassey put Hamilton up by four on a mid-range jumper with 4:56 remaining. His basket was the last field goal of the night for the Continentals.
Two free throws by Wagner cut the Spartans' deficit to two points again at 66-64 with 3:57 left. It remained a two-point margin for the next three minutes as the teams combined to go 0 of 3 from the field and 0-for-3 at the free-throw line, and committed six turnovers.
Pucci finally ended the drought with 32 seconds to go after he stole the ball, was fouled and made the first of two free throws. York responded immediately as Wagner missed a layup but Jason Bady grabbed the loose ball and laid in the putback to make it 67-66 with 19.9 seconds remaining. The inbounds pass went into Pucci and he was fouled immediately. He went 1-for-2 at the line again and the Spartans called a 30-second timeout.
Reich tried to give York the lead but his long 3-point attempt was off-target and Andrew Groll '19 secured the defensive rebound and was fouled with seven seconds left. Groll made the first free throw for a 69-66 advantage but missed the second and Reich snatched the rebound. The ball eventually found its way to Bady who tossed up a potential game-tying 3-pointer that caromed off the rim and bounced away as the final buzzer sounded, touching off a wild celebration on the Hamilton bench. The Spartans shot 9 of 27 from the floor, including 0 of 8 from beyond the arc, in the second half.
The Continentals sprinted out to an 11-5 lead four minutes into the first half thanks to a pair of 3-pointers by Doyle and another by Pucci. York came back with six straight points and tied the score at 11-11 with 13:27 left. Neither team led by more than three points the rest of the half. Groll found Gilmour for a layup that beat the buzzer and pulled Hamilton within a point at 40-39 at the break. Scamuffo made four 3-pointers and scored all 19 of his points in the first half.
The Spartans and the Continentals were playing each other for the first time.