ITHACA – The Vassar men’s basketball team finished the regular season strong with a commanding 66-54 win at Ithaca College on Saturday afternoon in play from Ben Light Gymnasium.
The Brewers concluded their regular season with an overall record of 9-16 and a conference mark of 8-10. With that, they secured the sixth seed in the Liberty League Tournament, after Clarkson University came from down 10 in the second half to defeat RPI in overtime to seal the tournament berth for VC.
“So proud of our team’s resiliency,” said head coach BJ Dunne, who has coached the Brewers to the postseason for the third time in five seasons. “We have grown so much together and couldn’t be happier for them to earn a spot in the conference tournament. We are playing our best basketball right now and we’re confident we can compete with anyone. This is the best part of the year, this is when the magic happens.”
The Brewers got 17 points from senior Jesse Browne and while Paul Grinde added his eighth double-double of the season with 12 points and 18 rebounds. Both Alex Seff and B.J. White added nine points to the Vassar cause.
Vassar went down early as Ithaca hit the first bucket of the game, but they quickly answered and jumped in front with a seven-point advantage at the 11:43 mark. After the Bombers chipped into the lead to cut it to two, Lance Tebay hit a three-pointer to put the Brewers back up by five. Five minutes later, Browne’s layup had Vassar by six with three and a half to go in first half.
With just over a minute to go, the Bombers were back within one possession. But Browne responded with a three-pointer to put his Brewers up by six heading into the locker room.
Ithaca battled back in the second half, getting within two with 14:44 to play. White’s triple put Vassar up by five as the Brewers would pile on to their lead for the remainder of the game. The Brewers scored 12 straight points over a four minute span to run their lead up to 17.
Grinde capped the run with two made free-throws before Ithaca finally converted a layup.
The Brewers battled until the end and were able to run out the clock on their final possession to capture the 12-point road victory.
On the day, Vassar shot 36.2% from the floor while holding Ithaca to 28.9% shooting. The Brewers converted at a 0.364 clip from deep and 0.593 at the free-throw line.