BENNINGTON, Vt. – Southern Vermont outscored Lesley University 42-25 in the second half Tuesday night en route to a 68-54 win at the Mountaineer Athletic Center in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) men's basketball action.
SVC was led by sophomore forward DeShawn Hamlet (Hartford, Conn.) who notched his seventh double-double of the season with 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Lesley senior guard Mike Kaufman (Boca Raton, Fla.) paced the Lynx with 16 points, adding six boards to his night.
Down 36-31 with 13:32 to play in the second half, Southern Vermont took to a 20-3 run over the next nine minutes to take a lead that would not be threatened through the remainder of the contest.
Mountaineer freshman Eddie Mack III (Hartford, Conn.) followed Hamlet with 12 points of his own while junior forward Izzy Melton (Silver Spring, Md.) added seven points and 11 boards off the bench.
Kaufman was trailed on the Lesley side by junior guard Justin Rosa (East Brunswick, N.J.) who chipped in with 10 points, seven rebounds, and a game-best four assists. Senior forward Kris Bennett (Inglewood, Calif.) added eight points, nine rebounds and three blocks in the effort.
SVC shot just 31.8 percent (21-66) from the floor on the night, but the Mountaineers were able to hold Lesley to just a 24.5 percentage (13-53) from field goal range in the win. Southern Vermont had control on the boards with a 57-39 rebound advantage, adding 30 points in the paint to the Lynx's eight. The Mountaineers also made the most of the 22 LU turnovers, scoring 17 points off the giveaways. Adversely, Lesley managed just six points from the 15 Mountaineer mishaps.
Trailing 29-26 to start the second half, Southern Vermont wasted no time in tying things up as Mack grabbed a pass from sophomore Antoine White (Germantown, Md.) on the left side of the perimeter and knocked down a trey while drawing the foul. He could not convert the free throw, however, and the two sides started trading baskets along with misses. Just under nine minute into the period, a pair of free throws by freshman guard Brandon Casella (Pittsfield, Mass.) tied it once again, this time at 36-36.
From there, the Mountaineers started to heat up and soon found themselves ahead 51-39 following a downtown jumper by freshman guard Jordan Alston (Hughesville, Md.). Kaufman soon after hit a three of his own to keep the Lynx in the game at 52-43, his third for the team in as many baskets. But Southern Vermont closed out the night with efficiency at the line, hitting 12 straight from the charity stripe in the final three minutes to carry on for the 68-54 victory.
The first half was a different story with the Mountaineers converting on just 5-of-14 (35.7 percent) trips to the line. Southern Vermont turned the ball over just six times to Lesley's 13, but the Lynx drilled 15-of-18 (83.3 percent) free throws to take a 29-26 lead into the locker room.
Mountaineer sophomore forward Dolapo Olugbile (Laurel, Md.) led all players at the break with nine points while Hamlet had eight rebounds and eight boards. Rosa paced the visitors in the opening frame with eight points as Bennett grabbed seven rebounds
Southern Vermont is on the road Thursday when the Mountaineers visit Daniel Webster College for a 7:30 p.m. tip while Lesley is right back at it Wednesday night with an 8 p.m. home tilt against Salem State University, a game rescheduled from Jan. 4.