Vassar Defeats Hilbert in ECAC Tourney, 80-63

Release Date:
February 28, 2007
The Office of Sports Information
(716) 649-7900 ext. 333

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY - Behind a dominating 23-point, 10-rebound, seven-assist and three-steal performance by Lawrence Avitabile, Vassar College’s men’s basketball team defeated Hilbert College 80-63 Wednesday night at the Athletics & Fitness Center to advance to the semifinals of the ECAC Tournament. The visiting Hawks close out the 2006-07 season with an improved 14-14 record.

In the first half, both teams suffered long scoring droughts. After an Avitabile lay-up with 15:32 to play put the Brewers up 11-5, Vassar failed to score a field goal for nearly five-and-a-half minutes. Though the Hawks tied the game during this drought, they then had their own dry spell, not scoring a basket for over five minutes. Vassar held the lead for all of the game, with the exception of one tie, the Brewers held a very slim margin through most of the first half. With 6:54 to play, a lay up by Hilbert’s Noah McHale (Bradford, PA/Archbishop Walsh) brought the Hawks within three. However, the Brewers managed to increase their lead to ten and settled for a 31-23 lead at the intermission.

In the second half Avitabile quickly sparked an 18-5 Vassar run in a resounding manner. Stealing the ball at half court just 20 seconds into the half, the junior forward slam-dunked the ball at the other end. After sophomore Brian Butterworth nailed three three-pointers and junior Tyson Brazell added five points, the Brewers sat atop a commanding 49-28 lead four-and-a-half minutes into the second half.

The Hawks would get within 12 points with 6:12 to play on a Michael Reyes (Buffalo, NY/Bishop Timon) three-pointer, but Hilbert could get no closer despite 20 second-half points by Dallas Reinard (Smethport, PA/Smethport).

Butterworth contributed 20 points for the Brewers, on 4-for-7 shooting from behind the arc. Brazell notched a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds and William Keiffer grabbed 11 rebounds while dishing out seven assists to go with seven points.

Reinard netted a game-high 29 points for the Hawks and senior Glenn Ufland (Buffalo, NY/Bishop Timon) closed out his collegiate career with 16 points and five assists. Fellow senior Ron Dussett (Buffalo, NY/Traditional) chipped in two points and four rebounds in a losing effort.

With the win, the Brewers improve to 16-10 overall. Vassar, which holds the #1 seed in the ECAC Tournament, will host the semifinal and championship games this weekend squaring off against #4 Ithaca College Friday evening.

Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 1,100 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs and new Accelerated Degree Programs geared to adult learners.