No. 9 men's basketball opens season with 25-point win

Peter Hoffmann '19 (Ryan Murray photo)
Peter Hoffmann '19 (Ryan Murray photo)

Hamilton College shot 65.5 percent from the field in the second half and the nationally ranked No. 9 Continentals pulled away for a 97-72 win against the Centenary University Cyclones in the 2018 Hamilton Invitational Classic at Margaret Bundy Scott Field House on Saturday afternoon.

The Continentals were playing their season opener while Centenary dropped to 0-2 overall. Hamilton shot 58.1 percent from the floor overall, including 11 of 26 (42.3 percent) from 3-point range, and 14-for-16 (87.5 percent) at the free-throw line.

Peter Hoffmann '19 led the Continentals with a game-high 18 points as six Hamilton players scored in double figures. Tim Doyle '19 chipped in 15 points, five assists and three steals. Doyle was a perfect 5 of 5 from the field and went 3-for-3 at the charity stripe. Kena Gilmour '20 posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, Michael Grassey '19 dropped in 13 points, and Mark Lutz '20 and Nick Osarenren '22 added 11 points apiece off the bench. Osarenren had two of Hamilton's eight blocked shots. The Continentals enjoyed a 46-27 advantage on the glass.

Billy Veras was the only member of the Cyclones who scored in double figures with his 16 points. Veras also pulled down nine boards. Chris Labelle handed out five assists and Divine Anderson was credited with four steals.

Neither team led by more than five points during the opening 11 minutes and Centenary grabbed its largest lead of four points at 17-13 with 12:29 left in the first half on Anderson's steal and layup. Hamilton then took the lead for good with a 14-2 run during the next five minutes. Osarenren kicked off the spurt with a dunk and two layups, Hoffmann followed with another basket in the paint and Doyle gave the Continentals a 25-19 edge with a four-point play. Another driving layup by Hoffmann made it an eight-point game with 7:25 remaining.

The Cyclones didn't get closer than six points the rest of the way. A Gilmour layup gave Hamilton its first double-digit lead at 32-21 with 6:17 to go and the Continentals' cushion ballooned to 19 points at 42-23 after Lutz nailed a 3-pointer with 3:26 left. Hamilton held a 46-30 advantage at the break and the Continentals' lead fluctuated between 13 and 25 points during the second half. 

Hamilton hosts York College (N.Y.) on the second day of the invitational classic Sunday, Nov. 18 at noon.