Randolph Center, VT - On Sunday night, the Knights were able to upend the Fighting Saints of St. Joe's (VT) by the final of 63-55. VTC was able to overcome an eight point deficit in the second half and snatch victory from the visitors.
Play was rough from the very beginning in this in-state and in-conference rivalry game. Over the years, CSJ and VTC have had fierce battles, and this game was to be no different. In the end, what made the difference for the Knights was the balance of scoring and overall team play, compared to St. Joe's style that more revolved around only a few players.
Vermont Tech was again without the services of their starting point guard, Sam Marler (Fr./Sydney, Australia), so Alex Tyrrell (Sr./Sydney, Australia) along with Brandon Matano (Jr./Honolulu, HI) took over the role. Utilizing excellent teamwork both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, the Knights kept the game close in the first half. They actually started on an 11-5 run, capped by a three pointer from Freshman Kyle Kissenberth (Winter Park, FL) at the 14:28 mark.
CSJ clawed their way back, and with Dre Anderson's three pointer, followed closely by two made free throws, the Saints grabbed a 25-23 lead with one minute remaining in the half. Casey Hall's jumper with :20 left put the Saints up by four, but Tyrrell finished the period sinking two free throws to make the halftime score 27-25 in favor of the visitors.
The second half saw a reversal in roles, as CSJ pulled out to a 10 point lead, 48-38, halfway through the period after a Dee Anderson three pointer. VTC quickly went on an eight point run to close down the gap with Kissenberth, Matano and Freshman Andrew Scott (Melbourne, FL) contributing baskets in the five minute stretch. Kissenberth finished with 9 points, 10 rebounds, Matano shared the game-high with 15 points, 7 rebounds, and Scott with 13 points and 7 rebounds.
After Dee Anderson hit another three to push the lead to 51-46, Vermont Tech again went on a mini-run. Spurred by Scott and Tyrrell, the Knights knotted the game at 53 with four minutes remaining. In the end, Tyrrell tied for the game-high in points, scoring 15, while also contributing 4 assists.
The game was tight for the next three minutes, with both defenses locking down. Only four points were scored during that time. The Knights, however, finished the game with a flurry in the final minute. Matano connected on a three to make it 58-55, Scott a jumper to add two and then Josh Lindsey (Sr./Palm Bay, FL) hit their free throws to make the final 63-55.
The statistical categories really told the story of this game, with each one almost dead even. 40 rebounds for CSJ to 37 for VTC; 12 assists for CSJ to 11 for VTC; 19 turnovers for CSJ to 17 for VTC, and 11 second chance points for CSJ to the 12 of VTC.
St. Joe's was led in scoring by Josh Otway and Hall, who each contributed 15. Hall had a double-double by pulling down 12 rebounds, and Dre Anderson led closely behind in rebounds by grabbing 10. With the loss CSJ falls to 8-11, 4-5 YSCC.
With the victory, the Knights have now won seven in a row to boost their overall record to 14-8, 10-2 YSCC. They now have a week to prepare and rest, as their next contest will be on the road versus YSCC opponent Hampshire College on Sunday, February 3rd.