BENNINGTON, Vt. – Despite finishing the game with only four players on the court, Southern Vermont College pulled away for a 76-54 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) men's basketball win over Becker College Thursday night at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
In what has become an intense rivalry over recent years, SVC started the contest with just one active reserve player; Southern Vermont did not make a substitution until it was on top 52-34 with 11:54 to go in the second half. Two Mountaineers then fouled out late in the evening—forcing the hosts to conclude the game shorthanded. Still, SVC was able to outscore the Hawks by 14 in the final 20 minutes to remain undefeated on the MAC parquet (5-0).
Three Mountaineers played all 40 minutes of the win.
Both teams are at home on Saturday for their next game as the Southern Vermont (9-4, 3-2 NECC) hosts New England College for a 3 p.m. start while Becker (3-10, 2-2 NECC) tips off with Dean College at 1 p.m.
SVC sophomore Donnell Frayer Jr. (Upper Marlboro, Md.) posted game-highs of 20 points and nine rebounds while adding four assists to his line. Seniors Andre Hodo (Silver Spring, Md.) and Josh Borders (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) both had 16 points with Hodo tying Frayer Jr.'s nine boards; Hodo also had five assists as Borders registered six rebounds and four helpers. Sophomore Kiran Durant (Hampton, Va.) reached double figures with 15 points, and he had four assists as well. Frayer Jr., Borders, and Durant all played every minute of the victory.
The Hawks' leading scorer was junior Antonio White Jr. (Middletown, Conn.) who had 15 points, in addition to five rebounds, in 29 minutes off the bench. Senior Dewayne Thomas (Lowell, Mass.) had 11 points while also tying the game-high of nine caroms.
The Mountaineers shot 54.9 percent (28-51) from the floor as they held Becker to just a 36.7 percent (22-60) clip from field goal range at the other end of the court. SVC pulled down a 37-27 advantage in rebounds and had a 34-28 upper hand in points from the paint.
Southern Vermont has now won three-straight against Becker and 11 of the last 13 meetings between the two including two of the last three NECC title games. The two sides will line up with each other once again in Leicester, Mass. on Saturday, February 2.
White Jr. hit a pair of baskets during a 6-3 Becker spurt which put the visitors in front 14-7 midway through the opening period—that being the Hawks' biggest lead of the night. The Mountaineers then rallied for 15 unanswered points with the help of three old-fashion 3-point plays to pull ahead. The two sides traded baskets through the rest of the half for SVC to hit the locker room still on top by eight.
After Southern Vermont pushed the separation into double digits early in the second frame, Borders would drop seven points during an 11-2 run—three coming from beyond the arc. With the sizable lead and players starting to get into foul trouble, SVC head coach Brian J. Johnson then finally went to his bench for the first time all night midway through the stanza.
SVC would continue to be efficient on the offensive end of the floor—eventually going ahead 71-43 with four minutes to go. The first Mountaineer fouled out shortly after, and the second was soon to follow as Southern Vermont played 5-on-4 for the last 2:51 of the game. Becker was then able to pressure the ball and force three turnovers through the remainder of the contest, but Southern Vermont's cushion was far too padded at that point for the Hawks to make any sort of attempt at a comeback.
– #LetsGoSVC –