NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - The Southern Vermont College men's basketball team travelled down to North Adams for the Williams Tip-off Tournament on Friday night, and the Mountaineers came back with a 88-87 win over the third ranked team in the nation in Williams College.
"I couldn't be more proud of this group," coach Dan Engelstad said. "They gave everything that they had. We had a silent belief before we went into it. They executed the plan perfectly."
In the first half, the Mountaineers played the Ephs very evenly, with both teams exchanging baskets and leads throughout the first 20 minutes.
SVC would jump out to a quick 7-0 lead when Jordan Alston scored his only bucket of the game, a three.
Williams would take a 10-9 with 3:30 gone on a Daniel Wohl jumper, then the Ephs would stretch the lead to 11 on a Whol three-pointer to make it 23-12.
The Mountaineers would cut the lead back, though, with DeShawn Hamley hitting a layup to make it 29-28 Williams, then hitting a free throw to tie the game up.
Antoine White would give the Mountaineers the lead at 31-29. From there, the teams would stay within arm's reach for the rest of the half, with SVC able to build only a four-point lead going into the break with the score 46-42.
"It was going to be a game of runs," White said. "Williams is a very disciplined team. We just kept saying 'withstand the run and keep our heads up.' That's what we did, when they went on their runs, we would go on our counter runs.
DeShawn Hamlet led the Mountaineers in the first half with 11 points in just 10 minutes of play. The forward was 5-for-7 from the field.
Davante Jordan and Dolapo Olugbile each chipped in with 7 points in the first.
Wohl kept the Ephs in the contest in the first by netting 19 points, including three three-pointers.
"We knew they were going to run some zone on us, but I thought our bigs did a good job getting into the high post," Engelstad said. "We turned it over a couple times, but we did a great job executing. We scored 46 in the first half, which I thought was excellent."
In the second half, the teams again exchanged baskets for a majority of the half, although Williams was able to jump out to a 80-71 lead with 4:17 to play on a pair of free throws by Taylor Epley.
But then, the Mountaineers doubled-down and found a way back in it. Hamlet would start the comeback with a layup, then Melton added another to make it 80-75. Williams would go back up 83-78, but then Rayshawn Taylor hit a three to make it 83-78, then Taylor added a jumper to make it 83-80.
After a free throw from Michael Mayer to make it 84-80, Taylor made two free throws. Williams' Hayden Rooke-Ley made two free throws to make it 86-82, but Taylor would score another layup to make it 86-84.
"I just told myself that I had to help the team out," Taylor said. "I wanted to help coach out, and help my team out anyway that I could."
Rooke-Ley would add another free throw to make it 87-84 with 27 seconds to play.
But then Hamlet came up big again.
First, he was fouled on the inbounds and hit both free throws, making it 87-86.
Rooke-Ley would go to the line again for a one-and-one after a foul by Olugbile, but he missed the first shot and Hamlet grabbed the rebound with 27 seconds left.
The Mountaineers would call a timeout with 17 seconds left to set up a play, and the Mountaineers knew just who they were going to.
"To be honest, I couldn't ask for a better player to have on the line," White said. "Coach drew up the play for DeShawn for a reason. We knew he was either going to get a shot off, or get fouled and go to the line. And we had confidence in him making those shots."
Hamlet would get fouled with just three seconds left. Stepping up to the charity stripe with the game on the line, Hamlet sunk both free throws to give SVC the 88-87 win.
"I knew that it was something special that we could have done tonight," Hamlet said. "So I had to have confidence in myself."
The feeling still hasn't sunken in yet for Hamlet, who admitted afterwards that "it hasn't hit me yet, it is crazy. Everyone was telling us that we were going to get blown out, but we all stuck together."
Engelstad said that he was impressed with the play of Hamley and Taylor off the bench, but also noted the physical play of his forwards in deciding the outcome.
"I was so happy with the guys inside. They battled their [butts] off," Englestad said.
Hamlet led the way for SVC with 19 points and six boards, Olugbile had 16 points and 4 boards, and Taylor had 12 points, 9 in the second half, in the win. White led the team with 4 assists while chipping in with 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals. Wohl paced the Ephs with 30 points.
SVC moves to 1-0 with the win, Williams falls to 0-1.
SVC volleyball falls
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - In opening-round action of the NCAA Division III women's volleyball tournament, the Southern Vermont College Mountaineers fell to Williams College 3-0 on Friday night at Williams.
The Ephs took the first set 25-7 to set the tone, then took the second set 25-12 before finishing out the match with a 25-18 win in the final set.
Carrie Baltazar and Marissa Flores each had five kills for the Mountaineers in the loss, while Jessica Delgado chipped in with 4 kills and 9 digs. Libero Vanessa Ruelas had 14 digs in the loss. Tori Jasuta paced Williams with 12 kills, while Emily Doll added 10 in the win.
SVC ends the season with a 12-10 record, Williams moves to 26-4 and a match in the regional semifinals tomorrow.
SVC women's basketball downed by Curry
MILTON, Mass. - Travelling down to Curry for an opening weekend tournament, the Southern Vermont College women's basketball team fell to hosts Curry 76-37 on Friday night.
Curry would come out and rattle off nine-straight points to open the contest, but the Mountaineers would come back and take the lead when Amber Flagg hit a three to give SVC a 12-11 lead.
Curry would answer quickly, though, going on a 20-0 run to take a 31-12 lead and put the game out of reach. Curry would lead 51-20 at halftime.
Flagg led SVC with 11 points in the game, adding four rebounds. Sarah McDonald had 10 points and five boards in the loss, while Abbi Molner had 6 points and 6 rebounds.
Curry was led by Jeanette Fallon with 14 points and Kylie Beltz with 13 points.
SVC falls to 0-1 on the year, and will play a consolation game tomorrow.