BENNINGTON, Vt. – Southern Vermont College got back into the win column Wednesday night with a 78-64 non-conference men's basketball home win over Fisher College at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
SVC took control and closed out the first half with a 17-point swing to go into the break on top 42-31, and the Mountaineers were then able to hold off the visiting Falcons from making a comeback to finish off the victory.
Southern Vermont improves to 7-1 on the year as FC falls to 5-11.
SVC is now off until next week when the Mountaineers head to Florida for the 2017 HoopMIA D3 Holiday Shootout held at Barry University; Southern Vermont will first take on SUNY Cortland at 5 p.m. on Monday, December 18. Fisher will return to action after its winter break with a 3 p.m. contest at the College of St. Joseph on Sunday, January 7.
Mountaineer senior Mike Pierre (Melrose, N.Y.) tied his career-high of 27 points to lead all players in the category while adding a team-best eight rebounds to his line. Junior Josh Borders (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) followed with 14 points, and he also dished out six assists in the win. Juniors Kyle Depollar (Rockville, Md.) and Andre Hodo (Rockville, Md.) each added 11 points with Depollar having five steals while Hodo chipped in with five rebounds and another four steals.
Fisher was led offensively by senior Jamontay Thompson (Apopka, Fla.) who had 12 points while tying the game-high of nine boards. Freshman Mena Yacoub (Clermont, Fla.) and junior Mikol Blake-Green (Boston, Mass.) each notched 11 points off the Falcon bench.
Both teams went 24-60 (40 percent) from the floor with Fisher taking an 8-7 edge in made 3-pointers. The Mountaineers were an impressive 23-27 (85.2 percent) from the free throw line, however, while the visitors were just 8-19 (42.1 percent) with the clock stopped. While FC pulled down a 46-36 advantage on the boards, Southern Vermont outscored its opponent 22-10 in points off turnovers.
Thompson made back-to-back triples for Fisher to go up by three and force an SVC timeout with 16:32 still on the clock in the first half. Once play resumed, Borders drove baseline before making a nice kick-out to the left corner where Hodo took the pass and drilled a trey to tie it up. After Borders connected from downtown to put his team on top by three, Fisher came back with nine unanswered points to take a 19-13 upper hand at the 9:31 mark.
Southern Vermont stormed back with a 9-2 spurt which included seven Pierre points—the last three coming on an and-1 play for the lead. Baskets were traded as an FC 3-pointer made it a 26-24 advantage for the visitors, but the Mountaineers would outscore Fisher 18-5 in the final five minutes of the half for a comfortable lead at the break. Pierre and Hodo each had six points in that closing stretch while Borders and Depollar both knocked down a trey to help their team bring a 42-31 upper hand into the locker room.
Out of the intermission, SVC extended its separation as a Pierre triple gave the hosts their biggest lead of the night—a 16-point cushion at the 16:32 mark. The Falcons would respond with a 10-2 run—highlighted by a pair of nice turnaround jumpers in the lane by Blake-Green—to keep themselves in the game and get their deficit back into single digits.
FC would slowly get it down to a seven-point difference (66-59) under the 4:00 mark, but Pierre then stepped up and knocked down a big basket from outside the perimeter before hitting a pair from the line for SVC to gain some breathing room once again. Scoring went back-and-forth into the final minute as Fisher could not stop Southern Vermont from connecting at the other end, and the Mountaineers put up the final five points of the night from the charity stripe to close it out.
– #LetsGoSVC –