No. 9 men's basketball moves to 4-0 with strong finish

Michael Grassey '19 poured in 24 points to go along with nine rebounds and five assists in Saturday's 73-63 win against Transylvania (Ryan Murray photo).
Michael Grassey '19 poured in 24 points to go along with nine rebounds and five assists in Saturday's 73-63 win against Transylvania (Ryan Murray photo).

Hamilton College went on a 14-4 run in the final 3:19 of the second half and the nationally ranked No. 9 Continentals posted a 73-63 win against Transylvania University in the 2018 Carnegie Mellon University DoubleTree Men's Basketball Invitational at Skibo Gym on Saturday afternoon.

Hamilton (4-0 overall) advances to the tournament's championship game where the Continentals will play the host Tartans at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25. Carnegie Mellon (1-3) defeated Frostburg State University 87-73 in the other first round game.

Hamilton's Michael Grassey '19 made 6 of 8 shots from beyond the arc and went 6-for-6 at the free throw line for a game-high 24 points. Grassey added nine rebounds and five assists. He's shooting 61.5 percent (16-26) from 3-point range through four games this season. Kena Gilmour '20 scored all 16 of his points in the second half and blocked two shots. Tim Doyle '19 and Andrew Groll '19 dropped in 12 points apiece and Peter Hoffmann '19 contributed six assists, three blocked shots and two steals.

Luke Schroeder paced Transylvania (1-3) with 19 points, 13 boards and two blocked shots. Spencer McKinney added 12 points and eight rebounds off the bench, and Devin Twenty chipped in 10 points and four assists.

The Continentals led by 15 early in the first half and 37-25 at the break but Transylvania stormed back and took a 49-48 edge on a McKinney jumper for the team's only lead of the afternoon with 11:23 left. Bo Schuh's layup with 4:01 remaining drew the Pioneers even at 59-59 but Transylvania was just 2 of 12 from the field in the last 3:26.

Doyle gave Hamilton the lead for good on a layup with 3:19 to go, Gilmour drained a 3-pointer and Groll hit a free throw for a 65-59 cushion with 1:40 left. Michael Jefferson stopped the bleeding on a layup with 1:26 remaining but Gilmour's two free throws restored the Continentals' six-point lead with 1:04 to go. A free throw by Doyle was followed by an offensive rebound and putback by Schroeder that made it 68-63 with 29 seconds left. Grassey found Gilmour for an old-fashioned 3-point play that gave Hamilton an eight-point cushion at 71-63 and effectively clinched the Continentals' win with 26 seconds remaining.

Hamilton jumped out to a 13-2 lead during the opening 4:15 and led the entire first half. Hoffmann's layup with 4:06 to go gave the Continentals their largest lead of 15 points at 34-19. Hamilton didn't score again until Grassey beat the halftime buzzer with a 3-pointer.