CLINTON, N.Y. – In a game that came down to the final minute, the 11th-ranked Hamilton College men's basketball team escaped with an 87-83 victory over Tufts in a NESCAC game Saturday afternoon at Margaret Bundy Scott Field House.
|Carson Cohen scored 10 points off the bench for the visitors|
Tufts had taken an 83-82 lead when Justin Kouyoumdjian hit a three-pointer with 53 seconds remaining in regulation. The Continentals missed a three, but earned a team offensive rebound. Michael Grassey made a lay-up on the ensuing possession and the hosts led 84-83 with 30 seconds to go.
The Jumbos turned the ball over on their next possession, leading to a pair of Tim Doyle free throws that put Hamilton up 86-83 with under 20 seconds to go. Tufts missed a late three that would have tied the score and Grassey grabbed the rebound and added a free throw for the 87-83 final.
The victory improved Hamilton to 19-2 overall and 5-2 in the league. The Jumbos fell to 10-12 and 4-5.
Tufts did not trail in the first half and led 46-37 at intermission. They made six threes in the first half and sophomore Luke Rogers had 14 points with six rebounds in 12 minutes of action. Hamilton, 3 for 11 on first-half three-pointers, was led by 10 points from Peter Hoffmann in the first half.
The Jumbos had a 53-43 advantage on Kouyoumdjian's lay-up at 17:28 of the second half. The Continentals would chip away at the lead and were within 61-60 on a Sayo Denloye lay-up at 12:14. Tufts was able to hold a slim advantage for the next five minutes and was up 73-68 when Brennan Morris made a pair of three throws with seven minutes to go in regulation.
However, Grassey's three-pointer at 4:46 tied the score at 75-75. Hamilton would take its first lead of the game (77-75) on Hoffmann's lay-up with 4:16 on the clock. The Continentals then opened an 81-76 margin on a pair of Hoffmann free throws with 3:22 remaining. Eric Savage scored the next four points for the Jumbos to get them within 81-80. A Doyle free throw for Hamilton made it 82-80 leading to Kouyoumdjian's three-pointer which started the exciting final minute.
Hoffmann had 11 points and Doyle had 10 as the Continentals outscored Tufts 50-37 in the second half. Hoffmann finished with a game-high 21, making eight of his 13 field goals. Grassey added 12 points and seven rebounds for the winners. Kena Gilmour had six assists and Andrew Groll submitted nine points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
Rogers led the Jumbos with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Kouyoumdjian tallied 18 including four for eight shooting on threes. Five Jumbos finished in double-digits with freshman Carson Cohen adding 10 points and three assists off the bench. Savage had 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Entering the final week of the regular-season, the Jumbos play mid-week non-conference action with a make-up date at Lasell on Thursday. The Continentals are next in action at Middlebury Friday night.