Mitchell Leads IC In Key Win Over RPI
TROY, N.Y. – The Ithaca College men's basketball team hung on to defeat Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 62-60, to snap the Engineers' 18-game winning streak at the EVAC Arena on Sunday afternoon. Ithaca is now 16-5 overall and 11-3 in the Liberty League, while RPI falls to 18-3 overall and 13-1 in conference action. The Bombers led by as many as 20 points late in the first half and took a 44-26 advantage into intermission. RPI battled back in the second half and took a 60-59 lead with 2:07 left in regulation, but senior Jake Mitchell propelled the Bombers to victory with the final three points of the game on a layup with 28 seconds remaining in a made free throw with nine seconds to go. Ithaca was held to just 18 points in the second half on 5-of-24 shooting from the floor but did just enough to come away with the crucial Liberty League win. In the first half, IC could not miss as the Bombers went 16-for-32 overall and 10-for-18 (55.6-percent) from 3-point range, while RPI was 11-for-28 from the field and 2-of-10 from distance. IC led from the opening possession of the contest as Mitchell drilled a 3-pointer just 18 seconds into the game. Junior Bryan Karl then hit a three to extend IC's lead to 6-0 by the 18:39 mark. After RPI got on the board, the Bombers connected from 3-point range two more times to establish the first double-digit lead of the contest at 12-2 as Mitchell and sophomore Skylar Sinon found the bottom of the net. Ithaca would hold a comfortable lead for the next several minutes and secured a 20-point cushion, 44-24, with 49 seconds to go on another 3-pointer from Karl. RPI opened the second half on a 17-5 run to pull to within six points with 14:21 left in the contest. The Bombers would then go back up by nine after a 3-pointer from Sinon, 56-47, at the 10:39 mark, but RPI answered with an 8-0 run over the next four minutes to make the score 56-55 with 6:30 to go. After a 3-pointer from senior Riley Thompson at the 4:17 mark gave IC a 59-55 advantage, RPI rattled off five straight for its only lead of the afternoon, 60-59, but the Engineers went 0-for-6 for the remainder of the contest and IC came away with the 62-60 victory. Mitchell paced IC with 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including 3-for-3 from 3-point range with four rebounds. Sinon finished with 13 points and four rebounds, while Thompson added 12 points. Senior Sebastian Alderete pulled down 13 rebounds to go along with seven points and five assists, and Karl continued eight points. The Bombers return home this weekend for when Mitchell will come home for matchups against Clarkson and St. Lawrence on Feb. 14-15.