Men's basketball picks up first NESCAC victory

Matt Hart '16
Matt Hart '16

Hamilton College’s Matt Hart '16 tied a game high with 13 points off the bench and the Continentals pulled away in the second half for a 66-48 NESCAC win against Trinity College at Hamilton’s Margaret Bundy Scott Field House on Jan. 13.

The Continentals (8-8 overall, 1-3 NESCAC) snapped a 13-game losing streak against the Bantams. Hamilton's bench accounted for 39 points.

Bradley Gifford '15 dropped in 10 points and grabbed a team-high six rebounds. Peter Kazickas '15 added nine points while Eric Benvenuti '13 and Joseph Lin '15 came off the bench to score nine as well. Benvenuti knocked down 3 of 5 shots from beyond the arc and Lin dished out three assists.

Jamil Ebo '15 led the Bantams with 13 points and Jaquann Starks '16 contributed nine points -- all in the first half. Mick DiStasio '13 passed out a game-high six assists and Alexander Conaway '15 blocked four shots.

Trinity (7-9, 1-2) built a 7-4 lead to open the first half before Hamilton scored five straight, capped by Hart's old-fashioned three-point play. After Matt Dean '14 knocked down a shot from long range for the Continentals, the Bantams scored eight straight, and led 17-12 with 7:18 remaining in the half.

Hamilton answered with a 14-4 run for a 26-21 lead with 2:23 left. Gifford and Hart hit back-to-back 3-pointers, Kazickas followed with a trifecta and then two free throws and Lin added a 3-point play during the spurt.

Following a jumper by Trinity's Hart Glideman '15, Benvenuti drained a shot from behind the arc to give Hamilton its largest lead of the half at 29-23. Starks made two free throws for Trinity for the halftime score of 29-25. Hamilton was hot from 3-point range in the opening half as the Continentals shot 50 percent (5-10).

Hamilton still held a four-point lead at 33-29 early in the second half when the Continentals got back-to-back 3-pointers from Benvenuti for their first double-digit lead of the afternoon. Trinity cut its deficit to 40-33 with 11:23 left, but that was the closest the Bantams could get the rest of the way. Trinity shot just 28.6 percent (6-21), including 0 of 5 from long range in the second half.

"In a very intense game, we found a way to make more plays and earn the win," said head coach Adam Stockwell. "We will have to keep working hard to move forward and reach our goals."

The Continentals took their largest lead at 66-46 with 23 seconds remaining following a 9-0 run. Greg Newton '14 made a layup and Hart sunk two shots at the charity stripe. A layup by Jack Donnelly '16 and a trifecta for Luis Serota '16 capped the run. Serota's basket was his first collegiate points.

Hamilton shot 40 percent (20-50) from the field and 81.8 percent (18-22) at the free-throw line. Trinity shot 32.7 percent (16-49) from the floor, but held a slight edge on the glass at 35-33.

The Continentals travel to nationally ranked and undefeated Middlebury College for a NESCAC game on Friday, Jan. 18. Trinity returns home for a date with Colby College on Friday.

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