MOUNT IDA MEN’S BASKETBALL
First Round – 2017 Wheaton Tip-Off Tournament
Friday, November 17, 2017
Emerson Gymnasium, Norton, Mass.
FINAL: MOUNT IDA 86, SAGE 82
NORTON, Mass. -- Seniors Joey DeFillippi (Bristol, Conn.) and Jacob Sartain (West Palm Beach, Fla.) each scored 16 points as Mount Ida overcame a 14-point first half deficit to post an 86-82 non-league college men’s basketball victory over Sage in opening round play of the 2017 Wheaton Tip-Off Tournament Friday evening at Emerson Gymnasium.
The Mustangs (1-0), who presented Head Coach Brian Cerone with his first career triumph in their season-opener, will face host Wheaton in Saturday’s championship game at 3:00 p.m., as the Lyons upended Rhode Island College by a 73-65 margin in Friday’s other first round match-up.
Mount Ida scored 10 of the game’s first 12 points in the opening 2:10 of action, but the Gators (0-1) used a 28-6 run over an eight-plus minute stretch to take a 30-16 advantage on a pair of free throws by sophomore Anthony Mitchell (Bronx, N.Y.) with 9:24 to play in the first half. The Mustangs then rattled off 18 unanswered points in less than four minutes to take a 34-30 lead on DeFillippi’s three-pointer, but Sage responded with a 13-8 run in the closing 5:03 of the half to take a 43-42 edge at the break.
After forging a 51-51 tie with 13:20 remaining on a three-pointer by senior Kevin Conner (Mansfield, Mass.), Mount Ida built a pair of five point leads before a lay-in by sophomore Darius Denmark (Orlando, Fla.) evened matters at 64 for the Gators with 8:48 to play. The two squads battled to their 10th tie of the night (73-73) with just over five minutes remaining before the Mustangs took an 80-75 advantage on Sartain’s lay-in with 3:05 left in the game. Sage cut that margin to one (82-81) with 47 seconds remaining on a pair of free throws by junior Kevin Lenehan (Delanson, N.Y.), but sophomore Kevin Vanderhorst (Lawrence, Mass.) iced Cerone’s first career victory with a three-pointer on the ensuing possession and a free throw with eight seconds to play that proved to be the final margin.
DeFillippi notched a double-double effort by grabbing 10 rebounds to go with his point total in the win for Mount Ida, which received 14 points, six assists and six steals from senior Jayson Clark (Austin, Tex.) along with 11 points and seven boards from junior Dennis Ross (Portland, Maine). Vanderhorst just missed a double-double performance of his own with nine points and nine rebounds for the Mustangs, who received six points from Conner and a combined 12 points and 14 boards from the trio of senior Errald Jordine (Stamford, Conn.) and freshmen Jonathan Friberg (North Attleboro, Mass.) and Kevin Nunez (Dorchester, Mass.). Mount Ida shot 39 percent from the field overall and connected for nine three-pointers on the evening, as the Mustangs held a slim 52-51 rebounding edge as well as a 40-32 advantage in points in the paint for the contest.
Sophomore Isaiah Scurry (Albany, N.Y.) scored 16 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists in the setback for Sage, which received double-double efforts of 14 points and 10 boards from Mitchell as well as 13 points and 10 caroms from Lenehan. Denmark added 12 points and four assists for the Gators, who received 13 points and five rebounds from junior Chris Kidd (Troy, N.Y.) on the night. Sage shot 35 percent from the floor and held a 27-15 scoring advantage at charity stripe for the contest.