Guard Riley Collins (’20) poured in 28 points and the Drew University men's basketball team overcame an eight-point second-half deficit to beat SUNY Old Westbury 75-69 in the first round of the 36th Larry Horner C'40 Rose City Classic Saturday evening in Baldwin Gymnasium. This victory also marked win No. 123 for Drew Head Coach Darryl Keckler, who has now tied Harry Simester's program record for career victories.
Collins shot 9-for-16 from the floor, including 4-for-7 from 3-point range. He also grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists. Three additional Rangers scored in double figures. Forward Lybrant Robinson (’21) posted 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists while forward Malachi Walker, Jr. (’21) turned in 11 points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots. Guard Michael Boice (’20) contributed 10 points off the bench.
The Rangers jumped out to an 8-2 lead, only to see the Panthers answer with 18-3 run to open up their first nine-point lead (20-11) with 12:53 left in the opening half. It was a 28-19 game with 10:11 showing, but a 6-0 Ranger spurt late in the half cut it to one. Robinson dropped in lay-up off a touch pass from Boice just before the buzzer and Old Westbury led just 37-35 at the half.
The Panthers nudged their lead back up to eight (45-37) with 17:45 left, but the Rangers would chip away at the deficit and came back to tie the game at 49-49 on a lay-up from forward Howard McBurnie, Jr. (’23) with 13:23 showing. Robinson put Drew ahead with a lay-up on the team's next possession, and the Rangers would not trail the rest of the game.
Drew still held just a one-point advantage (61-60) with 6:23 to go, but a 5-0 spurt capped by a triple from guard Cole Hanntz (’20) gave it some breathing room. Collins knocked down a jumper with 2:21 remaining to make it an eight-point game (70-62) and the Panthers were unable to get closer than six down the stretch.
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On Sunday, Nov. 17 despite Collins scoring a game-high 31 points, Hamilton College was able to pull away in the second half and defeated the Rangers 88-80 in the championship game of the 36th Larry Horner C'40 Rose City Classic. Collins was named to the All-Tournament Team. His combined 59 points tied his own tournament record set last season. McBurnie, Jr. added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Rangers, who recorded its first regular-season loss in Baldwin Gym since Feb. 17, 2018.
In the championship game, Collins shot 13-for-22, and he also posted five rebounds, three assists and three steals. He was hot from the start, scoring 14 points in the opening 6:42 to put the Rangers up 20-16 after they trailed by seven points early. The rest of the half was a back-and-forth affair in which neither side led by more than four, and the Rangers carried a 44-42 lead into the locker room. Collins led all players with 21 points at the break.
The Continentals scored the first five points of the second half and would not trail the rest of the way. A 14-0 Hamilton run gave the visitors a 17-point advantage with 15:24 remaining, but the Rangers refused to go away. Drew pulled to within single digits on a free throw from guard Dylan Musial (’21) with 11:46 remaining before a 3-pointer by Collins made it 74-68 with 9:04 showing. However, Hamilton answered with a 6-1 spurt and would carry a double-digit lead nearly the rest of the game.
The Men’s basketball team had a small break until they defeated the College of Saint Elizabeth 88-70 in a non-conference tilt Wednesday, Nov. 20 in Baldwin Gymnasium. The victory marked career win No. 124 at Drew for Head Coach Darryl Keckler, who became the all-time winningest coach in program history. He passes Drew Hall of Famer Harry Simester, who won 123 games from 1935-57.
Robinson scored 28 points on 11-of-14 shooting for Drew. Walker, Jr. added a double-double on 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Rangers, who shot 50.9% from the field and out-rebounded the Eagles 48-30. Walker also threw down four dunks and blocked three shots. Collins contributed 12 points, six rebounds and five assists and McBurnie, Jr. posted eight points and 11 rebounds. Guard Drew Gallagher (’22) tallied 11 points and five rebounds while guard Miles Lewis (’23) added eight points on 4-of-4 shooting and six rebounds, including four offensive boards. Boice chipped in with seven points and a pair of blocks.
The Rangers trailed for a total of just 14 seconds in the game, and they led 19-11 with 13:04 on the first-half clock when Collins fed Lewis on a fast-break lay-up. It was still an eight-point game (26-18) with 9:53 showing before the Eagles answered with a 6-0 spurt to pull to within two.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Robinson pushed Drew's lead back to seven (37-30), but a fast-break dunk pulled St. E's to within three with 1:40 on the clock, prompting a Ranger timeout. The hosts went on to hit a pair of big 3-pointers - one from Collins and one from Boice - to up the score to nine (47-38) at the break. Robinson led all players with 15 points at the half, when he shot 6-for-6 from the field.
Drew continued its run into the second half, outscoring the Eagles 8-0 to open up a commanding 55-38 lead. Walker started the run with a highlight-reel put-back dunk before Robinson connected twice from beyond the arc. Saint Elizabeth would battle back, however, and closed the deficit down to five (66-61) with 8:43 remaining. But that's when the Rangers dug in defensively, holding the Eagles scoreless over the next four minutes. In the meantime, Drew scored 12 unanswered points to put the game away.
The Rangers will take a 3-1 record into the remainder of their six-game season-opening homestand when they host King's College on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. in non-conference action.