Hartford, Conn. – The Trinity College Bantams scored six of the game's last eight points to earn a 61-56 victory over the visiting Hamilton College Continentals in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's basketball action this afternoon at Oosting Gymnasium. Trinity improves to 10-5 overall and 2-1 in the NESCAC with its first win in three games, while Hamiklton drops to 11-6 overall and 1-3 in the league with its second setback in a row.
Playing defense with a 55-54 lead after back-to-back baskets by Hamilton sophomore guard Matt Dean (Franklin, Mass.) with just under two minutes left to play, Bantam freshman guard Varun Ram (Clarkville, Md.) drew an offensive foul on a drive by Continental junior guard Hans Schulte (High Falls, N.Y.), and combined with junior Mick DiStasio (Cheverus, Maine) and sophomore Eric Dean (Gilford, N.H.) to sink five out of six free throws down the stretch to preserve the Trinity win.
Dean opened the scoring with a put-back in the game's first minute, and Trinity led for the vast majority of the first half before three jumpers in a row by Continental junior center Ken Click (Stony Point, N.Y.) put the visitors ahead, 25-24, in the final two minutes before the break. Ram answered with a jumper, but Hamilton senior tri-captain Pat Sullivan (Madison, N.J.) connected on a three-pointer for the final points of the first half for a 28-26 Continental lead.
DiStasio gave Trinity back its lead with a trey out of intermission for the first of his 12 points, and Click made two free throws followed by a bucker by Trinity senior captain center Chris Applegate (High Point, N.C.) to make the score, 31-30, in Trinity's favor. The Bantams jumped ahead by seven points, 43-36, on a long ball by freshman guard Carter Trent (Little Rock, Ark.) with 13:49 on the clock, but Dean responded with a traditional three-point play and the visitors kept the game close throughout the second stanza.
Trinity won despite a 32.7 percent field-goal shooting effort (17-for-52) and 18 turnovers by making seven three-pointers and outboarding Hamilton, 43-33. The Continentals missed 17 of 19 shots from beyond the arc and nine of 27 free throws. Ram led Trinity with 14 points to go with a game-high four assists, while freshman forward Alex Conaway (New Haven, Conn.) had a career-high 13 points and four rebounds. Eric Dean notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards, while freshman center George Papadeas (Athens, Greece) led all rebounders with 11. Sullivan recorded a team-high 14 points, four rebounds, and three steals, while Click added 12 points and five rebounds, and Matt Dean had 11 points and six rebounds.