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HAMBURG, NY - The Hilbert College men’s basketball team produced their most impressive season in the program’s history winning 20 games and claiming the number one seed in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference tournament. Everything was in their favor Friday night with a huge home crowd and the fight to win the ball off the glass. But Medaille College had other plans and claimed a 72-69 hard fought semi-final victory and the right to move on in post season.
Hilbert’s Anthony Hodge matched Medaille’s Tyler Stevens and Jammal Coleman’s 19 points, while Dan McFarland chipped in 15 and swiped 2 steals to become the Hawks career steal leader with 188. Freshman Jerame Owens added another double-double to his career with 14 points and 12 rebounds while Isaac Bushey gave a 12 point, 9 rebound effort in his final game.
Hilbert cleaned Medaille on the offensive boards, pulling down 17-second chance opportunities and doubled up the Mavericks in the paint (42-24) getting credit for 13 second-chance points. The Hawks had fewer turnovers (8 vs. 12) and two more steals. But it ultimately came down to Medaille shooting 50% from beyond the arc making 11 of 22 attempts.
Medaille was up 40-30 by intermission after shooting 48% from the floor and hitting 7 of 9 long distance hits. Stevens was perfect from the floor leading his Mavericks with 12 points on 4 of 4 shooting.
A ten-point hole is not impossible to dig out of, but when one team hits from long distance and the other team scores in the paint, it becomes very tiring and challenging to make up the difference. Hilbert was constantly battling in an effort to match the Mavericks. Hilbert forced three ties in the second half and held one lead 51-50 at 11:08. Medaille responded with a 3-pointer and never trailed again.
With 4:55 remaining, Medaille built a six-point lead after the Hawks came up empty on two consecutive trips. Trevor Stark cut the lead to 3 after a deep shot hit nothing but net. After a scoreless two minutes, Bushey rambled in the paint for a layup and could have tied it with the extra shot. From that point forward, Medaille hit two layups and sank four free throws. Hilbert’s Hodge scored six points and, on their final look at the hoop, the Hawks came up empty.
Medaille is set to face Penn State Behrend in the championship game on Saturday at 3pm. Both lower seeds advance to the championship game after the Lions from Erie, Pa claimed a 55-48 victory over La Roche College in the 8pm game.
Russ Conley was 8 of 14 from the floor to lead Behrend with 21 points and 8 rebounds. Nick DeLisio chipped in 10 points, with many of his coming late in the game from the foul line. La Roche's Derek Barber-Richards and David Jackson finished with 11 points each.
Hilbert finishes their season at 20-6 and La Roche completes their season at 16-10.
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