UTICA – After a 16-day break for exams and holidays, the Vassar College men’s basketball team returned to action for the first time since Dec. 12 on Saturday evening. In the opening game of the Utica College Basketball Classic, the Brewers (4-5) led from nearly start to finish in a 78-69 triumph over Anna Maria (3-8) at Clark Gymnasium.
Anna Maria held a 9-8 lead seven minutes into the contest when Steve Palecki sank a layup to start a 15-4 run that put Vassar in front 23-13. After the Amcats pulled back within four at 33-29, Hugh Durham was fouled on a three-pointer with 42 seconds left until halftime. He drained the free throw to cap the four-point play and give the Brewers a 37-29 edge at the break.
Vassar then scored the first 11 points of the second half to open up its largest lead of the contest, a 48-29 advantage with 17:30 remaining. It was still a 19-point game, 64-45, when Anna Maria went on a 20-10 rally to pull within nine, 74-65, at the 1:13 mark. Alex Seff drained a pair of free throws to bring the margin back to 11 points, 76-65, with 1:06 to go, before the Brewers closed out a 78-69 victory to snap their two-game skid.
Seff paced the Brewers with 16 points, while Zach Bromfeld tallied 14 points and six rebounds off the bench. Durham finished with 12 points, six boards and three assists, and Paul Grinde just missed a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds. He also recorded four assists and three blocks. Mason Dyslin also pulled down six boards, as Vassar held a 46-31 edge on the glass. The Brewers shot 43.3 percent (26-of-60) from the field, 38.1 percent (8-of-21) from three-point land, and 64.3 percent (18-of-28) at the free throw line.
For the Amcats, Mike Rapoza had a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Bobby Perette posted 15 points and four assists, and Anthony Buckley registered 11 points, five rebounds and three steals. Kennedy Minix-Rogers, meanwhile, notched 10 assists to go along with eight points. Anna Maria shot 43.8 percent (28-of-64) from the floor, 41.2 percent (7-of-17) from long range, and 75 percent (6-of-8) at the charity stripe.