Colchester, VT - The NYIT men's basketball program opened up the second half of their season with a non-conference matchup with Saint Michael's College of the Northeast-10 Conference Monday afternoon. Despite four of five starters reaching double-digit points, the Bears move to 3-9 after suffering a 98-85 loss to the Purple Knights. The home team is 2-10 this season and holds an 8-0 advantage in the all-time series against NYIT.
Sophomore Kieran Hamilton paced NYIT with 21 points, while classmate Walter King had 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Graduate student Jon Feiler totaled 17 points and 17 rebounds, including 10 of his team's 18 offensive boards. Senior Kachi Nzerem added 14 points. The Bears led 31-12 in points off of turnovers but received only 10 points from their reserves to 28 for the hosts.
Feiler's lay-in gave NYIT an 11-6 lead at 15:55 of the opening half before the Purple Knights countered with a 24-7 stretch during which seven players scored. Saint Michael's led by double figures for much of the remainder of the stanza, twice extending the advantage to 13, and led 50-38 at halftime.
Levi Holmes scored the first seven points of the second half to create a 17-point margin before NYIT cut the deficit to nine three times, including on sophomore Zach Moore's two free throws at 11:56. However, Zaire Williams scored four points and kicked to Holmes for a three in a 9-2 response, with Holmes' fastbreak bucket making it 74-58 at 9:47. He had the final five points of the run.
The lead reached a game-high 18 at 83-65 with 5:45 to go before NYIT produced a 10-1 run that took 2:02 to elapse, and the Bears were down just 84-77 on King's lay-up at 3:30. Still down seven after forcing a missed shot with 2:32 remaining, the Blue and Gold yielded an offensive board to Bonds, and Williams converted two ensuing free throws. Hamilton's transition basket kept the Bears within 89-81 at 1:10, but Sullivan made four straight freebies by 55.1 seconds to help the hosts shoot 9-of-10 at the charity stripe in the final 1:07.
The men's basketball team returns home for an East Coast Conference meeting with Molloy College with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
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