CANTON, N.Y. – Head coach Jim Mullins, now in his 21st season, became the all-time winningest coach in Ithaca College men's basketball history on Friday evening with his 308th win as the Bombers defeated host St. Lawrence, 82-67. The victory moves Mullins ahead of Tom Baker, who won 307 games from 1979-97, for the top spot on the all-time list. Ithaca is now 10-3 on the year and 5-1 in the Liberty League, while St. Lawrence falls to 3-10 and 1-5.
Sophomore Riley Thompson highlighted the victory with a game-high 27 points on 9-of-17 shooting, including 7-of-14 from 3-point range.
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Ithaca cracked the scoreboard first as freshman Cooper Macklin connected from 3-point range just 1:34 into the contest. After a three-ball on the Saints' end tied the game a minute later, junior Matt Flood answered with a 3-pointer of his own to put the Bombers back on top, 6-3 with just under 17 minutes to play in the half.
The Bombers then extended their lead to 12-5 by the 14:05 mark behind a layup and dunk from senior Marc Chasin and a bucket by junior Miles Herman. After St. Lawrence drew to within a 14-12 difference midway through the period, Ithaca responded with back-to-back 3-pointers Thompson to go up by eight points at 20-12.
IC would then reach a double-digit lead at 26-16 with 4:53 to play as Macklin and Thompson both drilled shots from beyond the arc.
Ithaca maintained an eight to 10-point lead up until the final minute of the first half. St. Lawrence closed out the stanza with four points to trim its deficit to 32-26 heading into the break.
Senior Carrol Rich, sophomore Sebastian Alderete and freshman Bryan Karl combined to score the final six points of the half for Ithaca.
The Bombers went 6-for-18 from 3-point range over the opening 20 minutes of action.
Early into the second half, the Saints pulled to within a possession at 32-30 in a span of 1:14, but the Bombers would go on an 8-2 run over the next two-plus minutes to push their advantage out to 40-32. Flood scored four points during the spurt.
Two minutes later, Thompson scored five points and Alderete added another bucket to reestablish the Bombers' 10-point lead at 47-37. From there, St. Lawrence climbed back to a six-point disparity at 51-45 with 11:40 to go, but an 8-0 by the Bombers over the next three minutes gave Ithaca its largest lead of the night at the time, 59-45, on another 3-pointer from Macklin.
Not even a minute later, Thompson sunk his fifth 3-pointer of the contest to make the score, 62-46. The Saints closed the game to nine points at 64-55 with just over seven minutes remaining, but Ithaca put the game away with seven consecutive points from Thompson over the next two minutes.
Ithaca's final basket of the game came on a three-ball from Flood with 1:25 to play to make the score 82-65, which was the largest advantage for the Bombers. St. Lawrence scored at the buzzer to account for the final score.
Flood finished the night with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting, while Macklin added 11 points on 3-of-6 from range, to go along with six assists and four rebounds.
Chasin chipped in seven points, six assists and five boards. Herman nearly picked up his first career double-double with nine rebounds and seven points, while junior Peter Ezema finished with six rebounds and four points.
Alderete tallied six points and three rebounds, while freshman Bryan Karl contributed four points.
The Bombers tied a season-high with 12 made 3-pointers on the night and shot 37.5-percent from beyond the arc. Overall, Ithaca shot 45.7% (31-of-68) and assisted on 17 made baskets. IC also outrebounded St. Lawrence, 40-34, and pulled down 14 on the offensive end.
Ithaca continues it road trip in the North Country tomorrow afternoon for a 4 p.m. tip-off at Clarkson.