BENNINGTON, Vt. – With 31 coming in the first half, Southern Vermont College senior Mike Pierre (Melrose, N.Y.) dropped a record-breaking 47 points Wednesday night to propel his squad to a 99-84 non-conference men's basketball victory over Mass. College of Liberal Arts at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
Pierre's total is the most-ever in a single game for an SVC player and ties for the seventh-most in a contest in Division III this year. He went 17-25 from field goal range with a 4-8 clip on shots from downtown; the senior also had five steals and four rebounds in the win. The mark nearly doubled his previous career-high of 27.
Southern Vermont (8-3) jumped out to an early lead before opening it up to a 59-41 advantage at the break. MCLA would cut it down to a 10-point deficit a few times in the second half but couldn't get within single digits as the Mountaineers finished off their fourth-straight victory against the Trailblazers.
With its non-league schedule now in the rearview mirror, SVC begins New England Collegiate Conference action to finish out the season; the first of that 14-game slate is a 7:30 p.m. tip-off at Wheelock College on Tuesday.
Following Pierre in the points column was Southern Vermont junior Andre Hodo (Rockville, Md.) who had 13 to go with his seven rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Aaron Murray (Camden, N.J.) came off the bench to register six points and tie the game-high of 11 boards, and senior Daemond Carter (Forestville, Md.) had nine points in reserve time. Juniors Josh Borders (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Kyle Depollar (Rockville, Md.) both had six assists in the win.
The Mountaineers went 34-76 (44.7 percent) from the floor as MCLA connected on 41.2 percent (28-68) of its field goal attempts. SVC hit 10 3-pointers to the Trailblazers' eight while committing just 11 turnovers to the visitors' 22; Southern Vermont outscored MCLA 32-6 in points off turnovers while edging the Trailblazers 38-34 in points from the paint.
Pierre scored the first seven Southern Vermont points of the night with the last three coming on an and-1 play which gave his team a two-point edge. The Mountaineers never trailed the rest of the way as they opened it up to a 23-12 upper hand when Hodo drilled a trey at the 13:27 mark. Pierre dropped two from beyond the arc on consecutive trips down the floor, and he would end up going 6-6 from the free throw line during the half to help his team go into the break on top by 18.
The Trailblazers would outscore SVC in the second period, but it was only by a three-point margin as the Mountaineers were able to maintain their distance to close out the win. After an 8-1 MCLA spurt—highlighted by a pair of old-fashioned 3-point plays—made it 73-63 midway through the stanza, a Carter triple sparked a 10-2 Southern Vermont run which included five more Pierre points; that gave the hosts some breathing room which they could carry to the final horn.
– #LetsGoSVC –