POULTNEY, Vt. – Green Mountain College saw the momentum it had built coming into this weekend slowly dissipate as the team lost the second of its back-to-back weekend series against Thomas College, 74-63, in North Atlantic Conference (NAC) men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon.
With the win Thomas upped its overall record to 10-11 and earned a share of third place in the conference improving its NAC mark to 8-6. The Eagles meanwhile slipped to 10-10 overall and 7-7 in the conference which put them in a three-way tie for fifth place.
Zach Mackinnon led a balanced attack for the Terriers scoring 15 points off the bench while hitting a trio of three-pointers. Tyheem Simon chipped in 11 points, six boards and four assists. Jordan Derosby and Carlos Gonzalez each scored eight with Gonzalez grabbing a team-high eight boards in just 15 minutes.
Green Mountain was led by Thomas Brown who scored 22 points as a reserve. Javier Lugris notched a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds while also notching four assists and three blocks. Pierce Weatherspoon thrice hit from beyond the arc for nine points.
The first half was a close affair with neither team being able to establish a substantial run and the lead changing hands five times. As the period drew to a close, the Eagles' Patrick Rittmon hit a jumper to cut the Thomas lead to 27-26. Just before the horn ended to signal an end to the half, the Eagles were awarded a pair of free throws after being fouled on a rebound, but could not hit either sending the visitors to the locker room with a slim one-point lead.
The game remained a close-scoring battle through the first four minutes of the second half until the Terriers generated a 7-0 run capped by a Mackinnon three-pointer to give the visitors a 40-33 lead with 14:32 in the game.
The Eagles were unable to carve the deficit down to less than four points the rest of the way and Thomas built its lead to as many as 13 after a Gonazlez layup at the 3:57 mark.
Thomas shot 40.0 percent (22-55) from the field compared to the 37.9 percent mark (22-58) of the Eagles. Although the Eagles were more accurate from beyond the arc, the hosts struggled from the free throw line converting at only a 47.4 percent (9-of-19) clip while Thomas hit on 24-of-34 (70.6%) from the charity stripe. Thomas took advantage of the Eagles' turnovers scoring 23 points off the hosts' miscues.
Green Mountain will enjoy a well-needed break before heading to Maine to face Maine Maritime on Friday and Husson on Saturday. Thomas will also have the week before hosting New England College on Friday and then Colby-Sawyer on Saturday.