BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southern Vermont College completed the season-sweep of the Lesley University men's basketball team, topping the Lynx 83-56 in a New England Collegiate Conference matchup this afternoon at the Mountaineer Athletic Center. Southern Vermont improves to 16-3 on the year and a perfect 10-0 against the league, now having won its last six straight meetings with the Lynx. Lesley falls to 4-16 overall and 3-8 in NECC action.
Saturday saw the coaching staffs from both teams take part in the American Cancer Society's Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Week, raising over $500 for the ACS between admissions proceeds and the day's 50/50 raffle.
The Lynx were led by junior Devon Mayo (Newport News, Va.) who had team-highs of 19 points and six rebounds, adding two assists and two steals to his line. Junior Pierre St. Simon (Farmingdale, N.Y.) was right behind with 15 points and four boards while junior Terrell Toney (Lakewood, Wash.) and senior Chris Barletta (Valrico, Fla.) recorded seven points and three rebounds apiece.
Mountaineer junior Rayshawn Taylor (Silver Spring, Md.) led all players with a season-best 20 points in 18 minutes off the SVC bench, adding five rebounds and two assists in the win. Senior Casey Hall (Albany, N.Y.) followed with 12 points and another five boards while junior Davante Jordan (Great Mills, Md.) had 11 points and three steals in reserve time. Senior DeShawn Hamlet (Hartford, Conn.) tallied 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds, and freshman Drew Wimbush (Capitol Heights, Md.) came off the pine to register a season-best eight points in just eight minutes for SVC. Junior Nate Goldsmith (Capitol Heights, Md.) also had eight points while snagging six boards and dishing out five assists.
SVC went 32-for-68 (47.1 percent) from the floor on the day while Lesley finished with a 36.8 (21-57) field goal percentage. The Mountaineers grabbed a 50-31 advantage on the glass, using their 15-8 edge on the offensive boards to outscore Lesley 11-2 in second-chance points. LU won the turnover battle by an 18-14 margin, but Southern Vermont was able to utilize Lesley's giveaways for a 20-15 upper hand in points off turnovers. SVC also had a strong presence in the paint, tallying 42 points from the key to LU's 22.
After Lesley won the opening tip, St. Simon took a pass from Mayo and dropped a three-pointer to get the Lynx on the board first. Southern Vermont would respond strongly, however, scoring the next seven points to go on top before Toney sank a triple to make it a 7-6 Mountaineer lead. Hall answered with a trey of his own on the next possession, only to see Mayo deliver with a third Lynx basket from the perimeter to turn it back to a one-point SVC lead. After LU took a timeout at the 13:38 mark, Mayo dropped another three-ball to tie things at 12-12. Lesley would regain the upper hand with a free throw, but Taylor converted an old-fashioned three-point play to put Southern Vermont back in front by two.
Jordan then drained a three, and the teams battled back-and-forth with traded buckets through the midpoint of the half. Mayo would go 1-for-2 from the charity stripe to get Lesley within one at 23-22, but that's went Southern Vermont scored 10 unanswered points to take a strong lead it would never relinquish. Taylor and sophomore Daemond Carter (Forestville, Md.) each hit a three in that stretch, and Taylor followed with another basket from downtown as SVC opened it up to a 39-24 upper hand. Southern Vermont notched the last three points of the half, going into the break ahead 42-26.
Neither side could connect through the first two minutes of the second period until a Hamlet layup started back-and-forth scoring. Mayo knocked down his third triple of the afternoon to make it a 46-31 ballgame, but that would be when the Mountaineers stormed to a 15-0 run aided by threes from Taylor, Jordan, and senior William Bromirski (Cambridge, N.Y.). Wimbush would enter the contest and drop in five quick points, the last three coming on an and-one play for the 68-34 SVC upper hand. That separation was maintained by the hosts over the next few minutes before a Wimbush bucket from the top of the arc pushed it to an 81-43 Mountaineer lead with 2:48 to play. Southern Vermont would carry on to walk out with its eighth straight win and lock up a postseason berth in the NECC Tournament.
Both sides will be back in NECC action on Tuesday night as the Lynx will host Wheelock College at 8:00p while the Mountaineers will head to Newbury College at 6:00p.
Release courtesy Southern Vermont College Sports Information