BENNINGTON -- Two different times during the Southern Vermont College men’s basketball team’s home opener against Elms, the Mountaineers were behind by at least a baker’s dozen.
But there’s no quit, and SVC came back each time to make a game of it. But in the end, the Blazers did just enough to earn as a hard-fought 64-62 win at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
Elms (2-5) senior Charles Bason scored his only points on the game-winning layup with five seconds left.
"Coaches told us to attack the whole game and keep going to the basket," Bason said. "I thought hopefully i can hit the shot."
SVC (0-7) had a final chance, but on the last play, Tarvaris Jenkins had a decent look at a game-winning shot, but the ball hit the front rim.
"We were hoping to blow Tarvaris into the middle and get speed by him," said SVC coach Mike McDonough. "He reacted to it. With 5 seconds left, there’s not a lot of time to go plan B. So he wisely turned and looked for it. He got a good look but they defended it well."
Just to get to a final chance, the Mountaineers needed a monumental comeback late.
Down eight with 3:03 left, SVC made one last charge, led by two monster 3-pointers by Mount Anthony Union grad Travis Severs.
Down five with 1:30 to go, Severs finally got open from the left elbow and drained the second 3-pointer to pull to 62-60.
"When Travis hit the threes, it brought him out of the slump and brought the energy and focus; we were pumped and ready to go," said senior captain Taeshon Johnson, who led all scorers with 21.
Under a minute to go and still down two, Jermaine Campbell was fouled, hitting both free throws to tie it at 62-62.
On Elms next possession, Johnson stole the ball, giving SVC a chance at the final shot. But the Blazers stole it right back to give Bason his chance.
"I thought i could block it but he put it high up [off the backboard] and it went miraculously in," Johnson said. "Tarvaris just came up a little short."
Both teams shot 47 percent from the field and SVC hit a single 3-pointer more than the Blazers.
But it was stunning the game came down to a final play. Midway through the first half, Elms went on a 14-2 run to double their lead. But Southern Vermont went on a run of their own, 16-5, to only trail by three at halftime.
"It’s frustrating we had to do it with a comeback," McDonough said. "We cant seem to be consistent. We either start bad or [have] a bad spell. It takes a while to get it out of our system."
The Mountaineers took the lead at 41-39 on a turnaround jumper by Jenkins early in the second half, but an 11-1 Elms run put the Blazers ahead by 13 with 5:42 remaining.
SVC 60, Wheelock 43
BENNINGTON -- Eleven different players scored for the Southern Vermont College women’s basketball team as the Mountaineers topped Wheelock, 60-43, Tuesday night for their first win of the season.
SVC (1-3) got 12 points from Amber Flagg, while Mariah Anthony, Javasha White and Marissa Myers each chipped in with eight. SVC led 28-19 at halftime and shot 50 percent from the field.
Wheelock falls to 0-6, 0-1 in New England Collegiate Conference play.