No. 21 Hamilton pulls away from Tufts for 3rd straight NESCAC win

Tim Doyle '19 (Josh McKee photo)
Tim Doyle '19 (Josh McKee photo)

The nationally ranked No. 21 Hamilton College men's basketball team defeated Tufts University 74-57 at Tufts' Cousens Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.

Hamilton (19-2, 6-2 NESCAC) started the week in a three-way tie for third place in the conference standings, and after two road victories the Continentals now share second place with No. 13 Williams College. The Continentals host the conference leader No. 6 Middlebury College on Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. and Williams on Feb. 10 at 3 p.m. in Margaret Bundy Scott Field House.

Tim Doyle '19 led the Continentals with 15 points and three steals. Peter Hoffmann '19 tallied 11 points and six rebounds. Kena Gilmour '20 and Andrew Groll '19 recorded 10 points and nine boards apiece. Michael Grassey '19 grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and chipped in eight points.

Eric Savage guided Tufts with a game-high 16 points and added nine rebounds. Vincent Pace totaled 12 points and six rebounds, and Thomas Lapham dropped in 10 points.

The Continentals held Tufts to a 24.1 percent shooting from the floor. Hamilton shot better than 40 percent from the field and held the advantage in rebounds (49-38), second-chance points (11-5), points in the paint (28-10) and bench points (28-12).

After more than two scoreless minutes to start the game, Pace put the first points on the scoreboard for Tufts' largest lead at 2-0 with 17:39 on the clock. Hoffmann responded less than 10 seconds later to tie the score before Pace hit two free throws for Tufts' second two-point lead. The teams exchanged points before Pace put Tufts in the lead again at 9-8 with a 3-pointer at 15:48. Vince Conn '20 then went on a tear, scoring the next seven points for Hamilton including a swish from deep to give the Continentals the lead for the rest of the game. The Jumbos got back within two points five times during the first half at 12:20, 10:05, 3:21, 2:41 and with 56 seconds left. Jack Dwyer '18 went 2-for-2 at the free-throw line with 40 seconds remaining in the opening half and gave Hamilton a 29-25 halftime lead.

Grassey drained both free throws to gain a six-point lead for Hamilton at the start of the second half, but Tufts scored five straight to make the score 31-30 at 17:56. Hoffmann and Doyle replied with back-to-back layups and Doyle completed the old-fashioned 3-point play at 17:17 to give Hamilton another six-point lead at 36-30. A three from Savage at 14:21 got Tufts back within one point at 42-41 before Groll and Spencer Kendall '21 teamed up for nine unanswered points for a 51-41 Hamilton cushion with 12:13 remaining. The Continentals maintained at least a five-point edge for the remainder of the game. Gilmour's first of two free throws at 4:52 increased Hamilton's lead to 15 points at 66-51, and a Doyle layup at 2:06 gave the Continentals their largest lead of 17 points at 71-54. Doyle scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half.