Men’s Basketball Outlasts Dean for 85-75 League Win

aaron murray passes the ball

FRANKLIN, Mass. – A quality performance down the stretch allowed the Southern Vermont College men's basketball team to stay undefeated in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action as the visiting Mountaineers tallied an 85-75 win over Dean College at John A. Jackson Court Saturday afternoon.

The Bulldogs went into the locker room on top 42-40 in the first-ever meeting between the two sides, but SVC was able to outscore Dean by 12 in the second half to notch its fourth-straight victory.

Southern Vermont is now 11-3 on the year and 3-0 in Conference play. Next up for the Mountaineers is a rematch of the 2017 NECC Championship when SVC hosts Becker College on Tuesday for the first meeting between the two teams this year; that tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.

Mountaineer senior Mike Pierre (Melrose, N.Y.) had only five points in the first half, but he came out of the break to tally 20 in the second stanza and finish with game-highs of 25 points and eight rebounds. Freshman KJ Kinsey (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) had an outstanding performance off the bench as he scored a season-high 20 points on 8-10 shooting from the floor with a 4-5 clip from the outside. Junior Andre Hodo (Rockville, Md.) registered another eight boards, six points, and six assists in the win.

Southern Vermont went 30-62 (48.4 percent) from the floor as Dean finished with a 44.6 percent (29-65) clip from field goal range. The Mountaineers had 40 rebounds to DC's 31 and outscored the hosts 38-34 in the paint.

The Bulldogs never trailed during the first half and staked their biggest lead of the day at 13-6 shortly after the jump. SVC chipped away and tied it midway through the stanza with Kinsey's first triple, but a pair of threes at the other end helped Dean push it back to a 6-point difference. The teams traded blows through the remainder of the frame as Kinsey went a perfect 5-5 from the floor to help his team go into the break down by just a pair.

Out of the intermission, Southern Vermont went on an 11-2 run to take its first lead of the day; Pierre scored six points during that stretch as he started to heat up. After a Pierre bucket from downtown made it a 54-48 Mountaineer advantage, Dean came right back to tie it up with 10:53 left to go. The Bulldogs pulled back in front for a brief moment—only to see SVC respond with a pair of baskets from beyond the arc for eight unanswered points.

Pierre would then notch five-straight points of his own before a trey by senior Daemond Carter (Forestville, Md.) set the score at 75-64 with 2:45 left in the game. Dean cut it to a 5-point deficit with six unanswered, but the Mountaineers responded with six straight of their own before closing it out from the free throw line.