SVC soars past Wildcats
BENNINGTON — The Southern Vermont College men's basketball team has a way to run a team out of the gym, even when you're not paying attention.
They did that on Saturday, scoring more than 100 points for the fifth time this year in a 102-61 rout over Wheelock at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
After a slow start, tied at 22-22 with 10 minutes left in the first half, the Mountaineers clamped down, outscoring Wheelock 36-7 into halftime.
"We're capable of scoring in bunches and when we're making threes, we're really hard to guard," said SVC coach Dan Engelstad. "Once we add that piece to the puzzle, you wonder, how did we extend [the lead] that much."
Casey Hall had a career-high 27 points (12-of-17 shooting) to go with eight rebounds and Will Bromirski hit 8-of-11 from deep to the tune of 24 points. The eight triples were a career-high in a single game. DeShawn Hamlet flirted with a triple double, with 12 points, a career-best nine assists and seven rebounds.
"My teammates were seeing me open in the post, working hard to get good possessions and getting good passes," said Hall. "[During the run] we picked up intensity, looking to get defensive stops and once we do, we're a fast break team, that's what we like to do."
As a team, SVC shot the ball at a 57 percent clip to the 40 percent for the Wildcats and had 29 assists on 42 made baskets.
Anthony Williams was the only Wheelock player in double figures with 13 points as the 'Wreckage' defense was in full plume.
"With our guards pressing full court, it makes it easier for our defense to get stops when the other team's worrying about the press," Hall said.
Taking out his bench players in favor of the starters with the score tied at 22-22, the Mountaineers took off. Hamlet hit back-to-back shots, followed by a Bromirski triple. Hall got into the act with a basket, as did Josh Borders before another three from Bromirski. A Hall slam but the exclamation point on the run, with SVC ahead 43-24 with 4:44 remaining in the first half.
"I told Casey a couple of weeks ago that he needs to be more aggressive offensively," Englestad said. "Since that conversation, his shots and field goals made have gone up, he's done a good job of getting more shots up."
A Dejuan Rodriguez basket stopped the run, but couldn't stop the bleeding as SVC then scored the next 13 in a row to make it 58-29 at halftime, including another three from Bromirski, who is shooting nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc this season.
"Will's had a couple of tough games, so it's nice to see," Engelstad said. "I'm happy with his shot selection, it's a good percentage shot for us."
"It's great having Will, he's one of the best shooters in Division III," Hall said. "He opens up the floor for us."
In the second half with SVC owning a big lead, Nate Goldsmith led the Mountaineers, scoring 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting in only 17 minutes.
"Nate packs a punch, he's come up big time for us this year, and he made some big shots today," Engelstad said. "We love his aggressiveness, he's playing well. I like the 7 rebounds and he can play like a guard too to start the break, it's nice to see him embrace his role."
At that point, the only question was whether the Mountaineers would hit the century mark or not and they did in the final minute on two Rayshawn Taylor free throws.
The Mountaineers continue conference play with a Tuesday night game at Becker and Thursday night at Elms.
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