TROY, N.Y. – Junior Patrick Mahoney scored 27 points and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men’s basketball team outscored Vassar College 39-16 in the second half on its way to a 61-49 win in a Liberty League contest at East Campus Arena. The victory was the 18th straight for the Engineers, which tied the school record originally established in 1990-91. RPI is now 18-2 overall and 13-0 in the conference, while the Brewers drop to 9-12 and 5-9.
Trailing 33-22 at halftime, Rensselaer scored the first six points of the second half to pull within five points. Sophomore guard Dom Black, who closed the first half with a steal and a layup at the buzzer, made a pair of free throws before Mahoney scored consecutive baskets from inside the paint. Vassar’s Zach Bromfeld answered, but another six-point RPI run pulled the home team to within one point (35-34) with 14:28 to play.
A free throw from Zach Johnson put the Brewers ahead by two, but Jonny Angbazo tied the game at 36-36 and fellow freshman Will Rubin put RPI ahead for the first time since a 9-6 edge with a fastbreak layup. The teams traded baskets until Mahoney hit a three pointer and a layup for a 46-40 lead with 6:09 left.
Johnson and Bromfeld each had baskets and Avni Mustafaj scored from behind the arc to put Vassar back in front (47-46), but Mahoney connected on a pair of threes of his own for a 52-47 advantage. Rubin then hit a three-point heave as the shot clock wound down for a 55-47 lead with 1:41 to play. Black, Mahoney and Rubin went 2 for 2 from the free throw line down the stretch before Bromfeld tallied on a layup with 11 seconds left for the final margin.
Mahoney made 11 of 18 shots from the field, including 3 of 7 three pointers, for his game-high 27 points, 19 of which came in the second half. The Engineers shot 52 percent from the field after halftime, while holding the Brewers to 28 percent. Mitchel Wayand had nine points, while Black finished with eight points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals. RPI collected 16 steals to Vassar’s five.
The Brewers, who led by as many as 15 points in the first half, were led by Bromfeld’s 16 points and eight rebounds. Mustafaj scored 10 points, while Johnson scored nine with five rebounds.
Rensselaer will attempt to set the school record for consecutive wins on Sunday at 2pm when it hosts Ithaca College. Both games are Liberty League matchups.