Randolph Center, VT- The Men's Basketball squad got off to a fast start on Saturday afternoon against the Vermont Tech Knights, leading by 15 at halftime. However, a second half surge by the home team propelled the Knights to a 72-71 victory at the SHAPE Gymnasium. With the tough loss the Falcons fall to 4-4 while the Knights improve to 8-2.
FC used sharp shooting and strong rebounding out of the gate, taking an early 14-6 lead six minutes into the game and forcing a VT timeout. The Knights responded out of the timeout and went on their own 14-7 run to bring them back to within one as the scoreboard displayed a 21-20 lead for the Falcons with 7:59 left in the first half. The game of runs continued into halftime as the Falcons answered with a 15-2 run to earn a 41-26 lead into the break. Paul Oha Jr. (Antioch, CA) led the Falcons in the first half with eight points, while Jhalen Lumpkins (Sacramento, CA) added seven.
The Knights turned the tables in the second half, shooting a solid 51% to get back into the game early in the second stanza. VT outscored the Falcons 19-8 in the first eight minutes of play to get within two at 49-47. The home team continued to put the pressure on the Falcons, but FC continued to have the answer, not giving up the lead until Dajuan Johnson hit a three to give the Knights a 65-63 lead with four minutes left to play. Kyle Williams (Fairfield, CA) hit a huge trifecta to put the Falcons back on top 69-67 with 2:17 remaining in the game. Jeremiah Shaw hit a three of his own to put the Knights back on top 70-69, but again Williams kept his team in it hitting a layup to make it a 72-71 game in favor of the Knights. With 11 seconds remaining the Falcons came out of a time out, looking for an open shot, but the shot from Lumpkins missed and the Falcons would have to settle for the 72-71 loss.
Oha Jr., Lumpkins and Williams all finished in double figures for the Falcons, with 16, 15 and 11 points respectively. Oha Jr. earned his second double-double of the season as he added 12 boards in the losing effort. Shaw led all scorers, tallying 31 points in the win while Chance Cole and Mario Mirchev both added double figure efforts for the home team.
The Falcons will have a week to rest up as they do not take the court again until Saturday, December 7th when they take on the Eastern Nazarene Lions.