BENNINGTON, Vt. – Southern Vermont College led wire-to-wire Saturday afternoon while defeating Elms College 73-50 in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
SVC held the Blazers to just 12 points in the first half to bring a 16-point upper hand into the locker room. The Mountaineers then cruised to victory as they outscored EC by seven in the final 20 minutes.
Southern Vermont (6-2, 2-0 NECC) has one more game in the 2018 calendar year—that being non-conference action at home on Thursday against Northern Vermont University-Johnson (8 p.m.). Elms (0-9, 0-2 NECC) takes to its winter break and doesn't return to action until January 5 when the Blazers host New England College for a 1 p.m. league tilt.
Elms sophomore Nikolas Brown (Wellington, Fla.) led the team with 12 points, and he also notched an EC-best seven rebounds in 24 minutes of reserve time. Freshman Kewan Smoot (Windsor, Conn.) and junior Pablo Ortiz (Newington, Conn.) each had nine points in addition to four and three rebounds, respectively.
SVC sophomore Donnell Frayer Jr. (Upper Marlboro, Md.) led all players with 19 points, and he also had two rebounds and two assists. Freshman Dylan Morris-Gray (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) followed with 14 points on a 4-4 performance from downtown during his 16 minutes off the bench, and he added four rebounds in the win. Senior Kyle Depollar (Rockville, Md.) chipped in with 12 points while classmate Andre Hodo (Silver Spring, Md.) had 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Southern Vermont went 24-56 (42.9 percent) from the floor while holding the Blazers to a 36.4 (20-55) field goal percentage. The Mountaineers grabbed a 38-33 advantage in rebounds and outscored the visitors 18-10 in points off turnovers.
SVC scored on its opening possession and had a double-digit lead before Elms could get on the board. Hodo then took a pass at the right edge of the arc and rattled home a triple to put the Mountaineers on top 18-2 midway through the first period.
EC would go on an 8-0 run to chop its deficit in half, but Southern Vermont responded and pushed it back to a 16-point game by the end of the stanza. Both teams struggled from the outside in the first 20 minutes as they combined for a 2-18 (11.1 percent) clip from 3-point range.
Baskets went back-and-forth once play resumed as each side started to heat up from beyond the perimeter. Every time it felt as though Elms was starting to gain some traction and get back in it, SVC had an answer at the other end to squash that momentum. A triple from EC sophomore Andre Peguero (Boynton Beach, Fla.) with 14:40 on the clock got his team the closest it would be all half at 36-24.
Morris-Gray entered the game and fired home treys on back-to-back Mountaineer possessions, however—helping push the lead up to 17 at the 11:11 mark. That separation was maintained until late in the game when he connected on another two attempts from downtown to seal it.