BENNINGTON, Vt. – The Elms College men's basketball team suffered a 59-44 loss at Southern Vermont College in New England Collegiate Conference action on Saturday afternoon.
SVC doubled-up the Blazers through the opening 20 minutes to bring a 36-18 lead into the break, and the Mountaineers then held off each of EC's attempts at a comeback to grab their seventh-straight victory against Elms.
Elms was led offensively by sophomore Greg Metelus (Palm Beach, Fla.) who tallied 13 points and four rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench. Freshman Andre Peguero (Newington, Conn.) notched eight points and another four boards while classmate Nikolas Brown (Wellington, Fla.) scored five points in addition to snagging a team-best six rebounds.
EC shot 41.9 percent (18-43) from the floor while SVC went 18-55 (32.7 percent) from the field. The Mountaineers worked themselves to the free throw line for nearly twice as many attempts, however, to knock down 15 freebies to the Blazers' five. Elms grabbed a 37-31 advantage on the boards, but Southern Vermont utilized its 10-7 edge on the offensive glass to outscore the visitors 14-8 in second-chance points.
SVC senior Mike Pierre (Melrose, N.Y.) scored a game-high 20 points and registered six rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Junior Andre Hodo (Rockville, Md.) pitched in with nine points and three boards while classmate Josh Borders (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) tallied eight points, three rebounds, two assists, and a pair of steals.
SVC led from wire-to-wire as Hodo drilled a pair of 3-pointers in the first 3:21 of action to help the hosts go up 10-3 early on. Pierre knocked down consecutive triples of his own soon-after before freshman teammate KJ Kinsey (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) connected from downtown to make it a 19-6 difference. Pierre would add another trey with 7:25 to go in the first period, and he then scored six unanswered points of his own to finish the half with 15 and help his team go ahead by 18 at the break.
Elms scored the first three buckets once play resumed to cut the deficit to 12, but Southern Vermont answered with an 11-3 run highlighted by four points from both Pierre and Murray. The back-and-forth continued as Metelus dropped six points to help the Blazers score 11 of the next 13 and get within 11 with 5:26 to go in the game. The Mountaineers responded once again, however, to prevent their lead from getting down to single digits; senior Daemond Carter (Forestville, Md.) aided that effort—hitting a pair of shots from beyond the arc for SVC to close out the win.
The Mountaineers move to 13-4 overall and 5-1 against the league while the Blazers fall to 0-15 on the year and 0-6 in NECC play. Both squads are back in action at 7 p.m. on Wednesday as SVC visits Newbury College while Elms hosts Lesley University. Southern Vermont is now 8-2 in its last 10 meetings with EC.