As winter break came to a close and faculty, staff and students prepared to return to South Hill, the men’s basketball team continued its season slate with matches against non-conference foe the Hamilton College Continentals on Jan. 19 and two Empire 8 Conference match-ups against the Utica College Pioneers and the Hartwick College Hawks on Jan. 22 and 23.
The Bombers opened this week’s string of games in Clinton, New York, against the Continentals. This would mark the final non-conference foe the men’s basketball bunch would face.
The game began as a back-and-forth affair. Eight minutes into the contest, freshman guard Matt Flood nailed a three to trim an early Bombers deficit to one, 17–18. From there, however, the Continentals would outscore the Bombers 23–11, inflating their advantage to 41–28 with over four minutes remaining the opening stanza.
Shortly before the break, the Blue and Gold would narrow the lead to single digits. The Continentals would drain a pair of free-throws to set the lead at 10, 48–38 at the break.
The Bombers threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Continentals after halftime. The Bombers put together a 7–1 run as the second half began, setting the score at 49–45.
From there, it became the Joey Flanagan show. The sophomore guard notched 13 straight points, including three 3-pointers on three straight possessions. With the score sitting at 59–54 Hamilton, the Bombers would use six points from sophomore guard Marc Chasin to take a 60–59 lead with 11 minutes to go. The Continentals would put the game out of reach by outscoring the Bombers 29–20, sealing their 88–80 victory.
Flanagan finished as the high-point man for the Bombers with 19, followed by Chasin with 18. The South Hill squad finished its non-conference schedule with a record of 6–3.
The Bombers fell to 0–3 on their six-game road trip and 3–4 in conference play, losing 84–72 to the Utica Pioneers.
The game started off well for the Blue and Gold, as they built an early 11–5 lead. Unfortunately, the hot start would be quelled by Utica, who battled back to take a two-point lead, 19–17, with 12:21 remaining in the opening frame.
As the first half wound to a close, the Bombers would once again bombard the Pioneers, putting together an 11–4 run to end the half. At the break, the Bombers led 44–39.
Similar to the Hamilton game earlier in the week, the Bombers blazed out of the locker room to begin the second stanza.
With just over two minutes passed in the second half, the Bombers found themselves ahead by 11, 52–41. The inflated advantage would be short-lived, as the Pioneers put together a 15–4 run to knot the game at 56.
With just over four minutes to play, Ithaca held a 70–66 advantage. Instead of closing out the game, however, the Bombers allowed Utica to dominate the final four minutes. The Pioneers outscored Ithaca 18–2 and used rock-solid defense to hold the Blue and Gold to 1–9 shooting.
Chasin was the high-point man with 22, followed by Flanagan’s 14.
A wild, high-scoring thriller broke the Bombers three-game losing skid as Ithaca defeated Hartwick 117–115 in two overtimes. The victory was the Blue and Gold’s 10th on the season and fourth in Empire 8 conference play.
Ithaca jumped out to an early 6–3 lead just three minutes in, led by two buckets from freshman Peter Ezema and a layup from Flanagan. The game would tie at seven shortly after, which would set the tone for the back-and-forth affair on which the teams were about to embark.
With the game tied at 89 in the fourth quarter and the clock winding down, senior guard Sam Bevan had a chance to win the game for the Bombers, but his 3-point try missed the mark, sending the squad to overtime for the first time this season.
In the extra session, Hartwick quickly jumped out to a 93–89 lead, on a dunk and two free-throws from Trevor Norton. After Hartwick established a 97–94 lead with 24 seconds to go, the South Hill squad called a timeout and drew up a perfect play, allowing Flood to nail a 3-pointer, sending this game into a second overtime.
Much of the action in the second extra session occurred with fewer than 30 seconds remaining. Trailing by five, the Hawks nailed two threes, separated only by a Sam Bevan free-throw, to tie the game once more at 115 with eight ticks of the clock remaining.
Out of a timeout by the Bombers, Bevan had a contested layup that just rolled out, but was put back by Chasin as time expired, giving the squad a 117–115 win.
The Bombers were led by Chasin’s 29 points, followed by Flanagan’s 26. The Bombers will be off until Jan. 27 when they face Elmira College in the fifth game of this six-game road trip at the Murray Athletic Center.