Men's basketball moves to 6-0 with Saturday's win over Eastern

Tim Doyle '19 (Josh McKee photo)
Tim Doyle '19 (Josh McKee photo)

Hamilton College's Tim Doyle '19 poured in a career-high 26 points and the Continentals remained undefeated with a 99-87 non-conference win against the Eastern University Eagles in men's basketball action at Hamilton's Margaret Bundy Scott Field House on Saturday.

The high-flying Continentals have scored more than 90 points in each of the last five games and they average more than 93 per contest. At 6-0 overall, Hamilton is off to its best start since the 2014-15 season when the Continentals won their first seven games.

Doyle was 7 of 12 from the field, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range, and went 7-for-8 at the free-throw line. He also handed out six assists.

Michael Grassey '19 dropped in 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and Kena Gilmour '20 chipped in 19 points for Hamilton. Peter Hoffmann '19 finished with nine points in just 13 minutes as he fouled out midway through the second half. Andrew Groll '19 added nine points and nine boards, and Mark Lutz '20 ended up with nine points on three baskets from beyond the arc. Ty Washington '21 was credited with three steals. The Continentals went 30-for-38 from the charity stripe and held a 38-32 advantage on the glass.

Gabe Perez paced Eastern (3-3) with 19 points and Darius Washington and William Blet scored 17 apiece. Blet, who played 21 minutes off the bench, also pulled down six rebounds. Jordan Johnson contributed 14 points as the Eagles shot 52.4 percent from the field.

The first half was tight as there were six ties and seven lead changes during the first nine minutes. A layup by Eastern's Marquise Peel tied the score at 22-22 with 11:34 left. Hamilton then took the lead for good with a 14-4 run during the next five minutes. Gilmour started the spurt with a pair of free throws with 11:06 remaining and followed with a jumper. After a Blet layup pulled the Eagles within two, Doyle and Lutz drilled back-to-back 3-pointers. Another layup by Blet was answered by a Grassey trifecta, and Sayo Denloye '20 gave the Continentals a 36-26 cushion with 6:14 to go when he made the second of two free throws.

Washington scored nine straight points and single-handedly cut Hamilton's lead to one at 36-35 just two minutes later. Eastern got within a point twice more late in the first half but never drew even again. A Blet three-point play made it 41-40 with 1:08 left but the Continentals bridged the first and second halves with a 9-0 spurt. Doyle scored Hamilton's last nine points of the half as the Continentals went into the break with a 45-40 advantage. Doyle finished the half with 18 points.

Hamilton quickly went up by 10 in the second half at 50-40 after a three-point play by Grassey and a Gilmour layup. Hoffmann gave the Continentals their largest lead of 17 points at 71-54 with another three-point play midway through the second half.

Hoffmann, who averages nearly 14 points per game and shoots 60 percent from the floor, fouled out with 9:32 remaining and the Eagles made a run. Eastern got as close as four points at 86-82 after a three-point play by Perez with 4:43 to go, but was held scoreless for the next 3:40. Meanwhile, Hamilton scored seven straight points, and Washington's layup with 1:16 left made it 93-82 and sealed the Continentals' sixth win in a row.

Hamilton makes the short trip to Marcy, N.Y., to play a non-conference game at SUNY Polytechnic Institute on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.