BENNINGTON, Vt. – Nighthawks senior Daivon Edwards (Roxbury, Mass.) became the seventh player in program history to score 1,000 career points, finishing the game with a game-high 28 points, but the feat wasn't enough as the Nighthawks fell to the Southern Vermont Mountaineers, 102-90 on Saturday afternoon in New England Collegiate Conference play.
The regular season finale also served as SVC's Senior Day with Daemond Carter (Forestville, Md.), Claude Payne (South Plainfield, N.J.), and Mike Pierre (Melrose, N.Y.) all being recognized in front of their home crowd prior to tip-off.
Southern Vermont pulled away through the last 10 minutes of the opening period to bring a 60-38 cushion to the break, but Newbury was able to battle back and get the separation down to seven with 4:04 to go. The Mountaineers prevented the Nighthawks from getting any closer, however, as they held Newbury without a point over the next 3:34 of play while extending their advantage for the win.
Pierre led the Mountaineers with 24 points while adding three rebounds, three assists, and two steals to his line, and junior Kyle Depollar (Rockville, Md.) was right behind with 21 points as he went 4-6 from the outside; Depollar also notched five steals and four assists in the win.
Fellow junior Andre Hodo (Rockville, Md.) had a solid game all around with 14 points, a season-high nine assists, and six boards for the Mountaineers and Carter added another 14 points with four 3-pointers of his own. Payne tallied a game-high 13 rebounds while junior Aaron Murray (Camden, N.J.) pitched in with 12 points, seven boards, and four blocks during 17 minutes off the bench.
Freshman Miguel Rivera (Waterbury, Conn.) provided 21 points and four boards while classmate Tim Deng (Portland, Maine) recorded 15 points and another seven rebounds. Senior Ato Botsio (Canton, Mass.) finished his career with a 10-point game for the visitors.
SVC held a slim upper hand through the opening eight minutes with Payne coming out of a Mountaineer stoppage and making a great pass to Pierre for a 16-11 lead. Newbury stayed close, however, and eventually went on top when freshman Kieth Hollman (Cambridge, Mass.) jumped a Southern Vermont pass at the top of the arc and took it the distance for a 21-20 edge.
The hosts responded off their turnover and stormed to an 18-5 run which was capped by a stellar behind-the-back Hodo pass underneath the hoop to an open Pierre for the easy bucket. Depollar and Pierre then drilled back-to-back triples before the Mountaineers ended the half on a 13-4 spurt to bring a comfortable cushion into the locker room.
A Hodo jumper with 14:23 left in the game gave Southern Vermont its biggest lead of the day at 76-53, but the Nighthawks would then start to chip away at their deficit south of the 11:00mark. Edwards dropped a pair of treys during a personal 8-0 run before Botsio and Rivera each connected from downtown to make it a 91-84 ballgame with 4:33 on the clock.
Southern Vermont finishes the year at 20-5 overall and 12-2 against the NECC; the Mountaineers now gear up for the playoffs and a 7 p.m. Thursday night semifinal matchup at home with their opponent to be determined Tuesday evening. Newbury finishes the year with a 2-12 record in Conference play and 4-21 mark overall and has not qualified for postseason play.
Portions of this release courtesy SVC Athletics.