Chicopee, Mass.- The Elms College men's basketball team pulled off a huge upset win over New England Collegiate Conference regular-season champion Southern Vermont College on Wednesday night by the score of 73-70. It was the final home game of the season for the Blazers, as seniors Keeshaun King (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Chris Connolly (Westbrook, Maine) were honored before the game.
It was a back and forth game all night. The Blazers (3-21, 3-10 NECC) trailed by just one at the half after a Nik Brown (Wellington, Fla.) layup at the buzzer. In the second half, Elms played some of their best offense of the season, shooting 54 percent after shooting just 38 percent in the first half.
The lead changed many times in the final five minutes, but Michal Ohradka (Feeding Hills, Mass.) came up clutch in the final two minutes. He nailed a crafty reverse layup to tie the game at 69. Then, after a defensive stop, Ohradka grabbed the rebound, got fouled and nailed both free throws to give the Blazers the lead for good. He finished with a game-high 19 points and added four rebounds and two steals.
Southern Vermont (19-5, 11-2 NECC) had a chance to tie it at the line with 15 seconds remaining, but KJ Kinsey (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) could only hit one of two free throws, leaving the Mountaineers trailing 71-70. Brown hit two more free throws to seal the game for the Blazers.
The Blazers played their best basketball of the season from start to finish. In addition to Ohradka's 19 points, Greg Metelus (Palm Beach, Fla.) had 15 points before fouling out with under two minutes to play. Diomanni Fernandez (Tamarac, Fla.) provided a spark off the bench, adding 14 points including two three-pointers. Elms won the game at the free throw line, hitting 19-of-23 attempts including a clutch 4-of-4 in the final 30 seconds to fend off the Mountaineers.
Kisney led the way with 16 points and three assists for SVC. Forward Andre Hodo had 14 points and seven rebounds. Claude Payne controlled the glass for most of the game, as he pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
The teams combined to shoot a total of 52 free throws with Southern Vermont going 21-of-29 from the line. The Blazers held a 32-31 rebounding edge and each team finished with 13 turnovers.
The Blazers close out the regular season on Saturday, when they square off against Lesley in New England Collegiate Conference action.