Dolphins Earn Hard Fought Overtime Win Against Vassar
Riverdale, N.Y. – College of Mount Saint Vincent senior Sean Caputo (Staten Island, N.Y.) hit two big three-pointers in the second half on his way to 16 points and was one of four Dolphins in double-figures as the Men's Basketball team hung on for a tough 78-72 overtime win against visiting Vassar.
Tuesday night's contest featured seven ties and 10 lead changes, with eight of the lead changes coming after halftime. The Dolphins carried a 28-26 lead into the intermission, but never led by more then seven points in the opening frame.
An Anthony Woods (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) bucket gave the Mount a 22-15 lead with 5:14 to play in the first half, but the Dolphins were outscored 11-6 in the closing stages of the period and went without a field goal in the final 2:21.
Cunningham led all scorers at the break with 13 points on 4-for-6 shooting as the Dolphins converted on 38.5-percent of its chances in the opening 20 minutes. The Brewers got seven points from John Donnelly in the first half and shot 47.4-percent from the floor as a unit.
The Dolphins came out of the intermission and quickly got their lead back to six points on back-to-back conversions from Michael Knott (Rockaway Beach, N.Y.) and James Zuccaro (Gilbert, Ariz.).
Mount Saint Vincent would maintain the advantage until a Donnelly lay-in gave the Brewers a 38-37 lead with 12:32 left in the half, their first advantage since 5-4 in the opening minutes of the contest.
Neither team would pull in front by more then five points the rest of the half, with Vassar taking its largest lead of the night when Donnelly put it in front 55-51 with 4:18 to play in regulation time.
Facing their largest deficit of the night, Mount Saint Vincent quickly rallied with 11 of the next 13 points in the game to take its largest lead of the half on a Caputo jumper with just over a minute left in the half. Shaquille Cunningham (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Caputo hit triples over that stretch, with Caputo's vaulting the Dolphins back in front 58-57 with 2:46 left.
Vassar would battle back over the final minute of the second half with five straight points, including a three-point field goal from Sam Rappaport to tie the score at 62-62 in the final 30 seconds.
The Brewers got the game to overtime by outscoring the Mount 26-8 in the paint in the second half, with Donnnelly pouring in 15 points.
The Brewers took an early lead in the overtime period on a Jon Herzog layup, but the Dolphins scored the next six points to pull in front for the final time. Zuccaro scored all six points for the Dolphins on his way to 18 tallies.
Despite shooting 24-for-36 from the free-throw line on the night overall, Mount Saint Vincent converted 10 of its 12 chances in overtime to seal the victory. Caputo went 4-for-4 in the extra session for the Dolphins.
Caputo, who was averaging 5.2 points per night coming into Tuesday, finished the night 5-for-8 from the field overall and 2-for-5 from behind the arc. He also collected five rebounds for the Dolphins and handed out a pair of assists. All of his points on the night came after halftime.
Coming off a career-high 31 point performance on Saturday, Zuccaro went 7-for-15 from the field and also hauled in seven boards. Cunningham matched the team-high with 18 points and led the team with four assists and four steals.
Sophomore D'Andre McPhatter (Bronx, N.Y.) equaled his career-high with 12 points to go along with four caroms, while Knott swiped three steals and chipped in with four points.
Donnelly led all players with 23 points for Vassar, with Rappaport adding 14 off the bench. Alex Snyder hauled in a game-high 14 rebounds for the Brewers who posted a 42-32 edge on the glass.
Mount Saint Vincent shot 43.9-percent from the floor overall and went 4-for-14 from behind the arc. The visitors converted on over 47-percent of their chances but were held to 6-for-23 shooting from distance.
Vassar held a sizeable edge in points in the paint on Tuesday at 40-26 and in second chance points at 14-8, but Mount Saint Vincent forced 20 turnovers and turned those into a 25-13 edge in points off of miscues.
The win is the Mount's second straight and gets it back to .500 at 3-3 overall on the season. The Dolphins will look to extend its winning streak on Wednesday when it hosts Sarah Lawrence. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Game Notes: Mount Saint Vincent is 9-1 in its last 10 home games dating back to last season…Brian Nigro '00 has a 52-57 career record…Nigro is 16-12 in games against non-conference opponents…In Tuesday's NCAA Statistical report the Dolphins ranked in the top-100 nationally in three categories, including 17th in turnover margin.