Men’s Basketball Clipped 95-89 in NECC Tilt at Newbury

josh borders dribbles the ball

BROOKLINE, Mass. – The Southern Vermont College men's basketball team couldn't quite come back from a first half deficit Tuesday night as the visiting Mountaineers fell 95-89 to Newbury College in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action at Pappas Gymnasium.

SVC outscored the Nighthawks by five in the final 20 minutes, but it was not enough to overcome the 53-42 NC halftime lead.

Southern Vermont (8-4, 2-2 NECC) is back at home for the rest of the week with the Mountaineers' next game being a 7 p.m. Conference showdown with Becker College on Thursday.

Tuesday marked the most points SVC has posted in defeat since a 103-95 loss to Wheelock College on February 8, 2014. It also snapped Southern Vermont's eight-game winning streak over Newbury. Three of the Mountaineers' four losses this year have been by single-digit margins with the average difference being just four points in those three tilts.

Five Mountaineers reached double figures in the points column Tuesday with two of them recording double-doubles. Senior Andre Hodo (Silver Spring, Md.) tied his career-high of 23 points while notching a career-best 16 rebounds; he also had five assists in the effort. Sophomore Donnell Frayer Jr. (Upper Marlboro, Md.) followed with 22 points, 10 boards, four assists, and two steals.

SVC senior Josh Borders (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) registered 17 points, five rebounds, and three assists while classmate Aaron Murray (Camden, N.J.) had 13 points, eight caroms, and four assists. Sophomore Kiran Durant (Hampton, Va.) chipped in with 12 points in 27 minutes off the bench.

Newbury connected on 50.7 percent (38-75) of its field goal attempts throughout the night while SVC tallied a 35-81 (43.2 percent) clip from the floor. The Nighthawks were edged 36-32 from the paint, but their outside shooting was stellar as they hit 13 3-pointers to Southern Vermont's four. Both teams had 10 second-chance points and 25 fast-break points in the game.

The matchup was well contested through most of the first half as a back-and-forth battle amounted to 10 lead changes. Down 33-30 with six minutes to go, Newbury then seized control and went on a 16-2 run aided by a pair of triples. SVC cut it down to a six-point difference with the help of a Durant and-1 play, but the Nighthawks closed out the half with five unanswered points to push it back to double digits.

NC built upon its lead early in the second half and went up by as many as 17 (69-52). Southern Vermont would not go down without a fight, however, and came storming back with 10-straight points; both Hodo and Borders had four in that stretch which made it a five-point ballgame.

After the Nighthawks used its outside efficiency to push the difference back to 11, Frayer Jr. scored seven points during a 14-5 run to make it a 91-89 contest with 1:25 on the clock. The Mountaineers would be held scoreless the rest of the way, however, as they missed their final three shots of the night while Newbury added another trey to make it a two-possession game.