A few weeks into the 2011-12 basketball season, most YSCC insiders circled this game as a critical conference showdown between two powerhouse teams. Both teams had veteran players. Both teams stood on top of the national USCAA coaches poll. Both teams sported gaudy first semester records. The game was still a showdown. However, the cast of characters on the court had changed. The College of St. Joseph lost center K.J. Jackson and veteran point guard James Rajda. Vermont Tech lost no less than five players from its ten deep rotation. In spite of the missing faces, the rivalry between the two conference foes lost none of its fire. Vermont Tech come out on top, 83-72, in a very physical, hard fought contest.
Senior Kevin Carr and junior Alex Tyrrell were outstanding. Carr hit for 27 points, connecting on 66% of his shots. Tyrrell hit 48% from the field for 25 points. Junior center Josh Lindsey pitched in with a solid "double-double" performance: 15 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman Lucas Dutil added 12 points.
6'6" Dane Jobst led the way for the Saints with 25 points. His brother Evan scored 17 points, mostly on tough shots inside the paint. Raheim Smalls and Dre Anderson each added 10 points.
The Knights took the lead from the start, opening a 10 point spread in the first five minutes of play. The Saints battled back, particularly on the offensive boards and closed the gap to 6. Vermont Tech scored twice quickly at the close the first half, capitalizing on a Saint turnover with three seconds on the clock. The Knights ran a sideline out of bounds play and were able to break Carr loose for a lay up as time expired. The score at the half was 50-37.
The two teams squared off in the second half like heavyweight fighters. Both teams ramped up the defense. Open shots were at a premium. The officials had let teams play a very physical game in the first half. In the second half, the whistles started blowing. The Knights Cody Chamberlin fouled out and three other front court players were saddled with four fouls. Saints sharpshooter Ramel Anderson fouled out and two other starters had four fouls. Neither team was particularly stellar from the line. The Saints hit 15-29 free throws. The Knights connected on 14 of 25 free throws.
The win ended an eight game skid for the Knights. The team is now 12-9 on the season and 6-5 in the YSCC. The Saints are now 15-6 overall and 8-2 in the YSCC.
"This win feels pretty good. I'm proud of how these guys battle," said Coach Dyer after the game. "Changing offensive and defensive schemes mid-season is a real challenge. It takes time and patience. Now we're starting to click. We have a resilient bunch. Kevin Carr and Alex Tyrrell were just outstanding tonight. Our bench guys, Eko N'Bouke, Josh Patterson, and Ryan Follensbee gave us some really critical minutes. This was a good team win."
Kevin Carr has now had three consecutive games where he has scored 25 or more points. Already the leading scorer in Vermont Tech history, Carr is closing in on 2000 career points. No one in Vermont Tech basketball history has achieved that milestone.