Men’s Basketball Tops Mount Saint Vincent for 74-68 Win in Opening Round of Williams’ Tip-off Tournament

aaron murray puts up a shot

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – The Southern Vermont College men's basketball team made the short trip to Williams College's Chandler Gymnasium Saturday night for the first time since November 2014—defeating the College of Mount Saint Vincent 74-68 in the process.

The Mountaineers went into the break with a 33-28 advantage over the Dolphins before holding them off in the final 20 minutes to move into the championship round of the Ephs' Tip-off Tournament.

SVC had participated in WC's season-opening tournament for seven-straight years through the fall of '14. After losing its first 14 meetings with Williams, Southern Vermont claimed victory in its last two contests with the Ephs.

The Mountaineers (2-0) and WC (1-0) will square up at 3 p.m. on Sunday for the tournament title.

Southern Vermont senior Josh Borders (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) posted a game-high 20 points while adding six rebounds and three steals to his line. Classmate Aaron Murray (Camden, N.J.) had 14 points and eight boards while fellow senior Andre Hodo (Silver Spring, Md.) notched a double-double with 11 points and a game-best 12 rebounds. Senior Kyle Depollar (Rockville, Md.) tallied 12 points in 31 minutes off the bench.

Murray dropped his first three attempts from the floor to help SVC go on top 9-3 early into the game. The Dolphins got within three before Southern Vermont pulled away—Murray putting in another layup to make it 18-8 before Borders and Kinsey hit back-to-back triples. However, CMSV would get the final seven points of the half to hit the intermission down by five.

Fouls played a big part of the final 20 minutes as SVC got into the bonus by the 10:06 mark. Adversely, Southern Vermont didn't commit its seventh foul of the half until there was 3:45 left to play.

Mount Saint Vincent would cut the difference down to three in the early stages of the second half, but Borders extended the lead from the free throw line as he connected on five straight—including three after he was fouled on a shot from behind the arc. The Dolphins used a pair of treys during an 8-1 run to cut the separation back to three, and another 3-pointer then made it a 45-43 game with 13:11 left to go.

Southern Vermont sophomore Donnell Frayer Jr. (Upper Marlboro, Md.) gained momentum and dropped three-straight baskets before the game took a two-minute scoring drought. A pair of Kinsey free throws then sparked a 9-0 run which was capped by a downtown bucket from Borders. SVC maintained its 11-point lead through the 3:00 mark, but the Dolphins didn't allow Southern Vermont to walk away with the win.

A pair of CMSV triples in the final 1:33 played an important factor of the team's 12-3 run late in the game. Depollar would connect at the charity stripe after a Mount Saint Vincent miss, however, and Hodo then went 1-for-2 from the line to make it a five-point game. Borders came up with a big steal in the waning seconds to snag the Dolphins' final hope and seal the deal.

24 of SVC's 41 points in the second half came from the free throw line as the team shot 82.8 percent.