Stevens Institute of Technology set a new single-game scoring mark in a 127-83 win over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in a non-conference men’s basketball game on Jan. 3 in Canavan Arena. The Ducks also set the record for made field goals (54) and were led by senior forward Simon Smith who tallied his ninth double-double with 28 points and 15 rebounds. The Ducks, who improved to 8-2 on the season, received points from 16 different players.
Stevens was playing its first game in three-plus weeks and the layoff did not seem to affect the Ducks in the first half as the hosts shot 61 percent from the field en route to a 58-39 halftime lead. Junior guard Sheldon Jones led Stevens with 19 points in the opening 20 minutes, with Smith netting 12 points and pulling down eight rebounds. Stevens tallied 14 assists on its 25 made baskets.
Up 6-4 just 1:49 into the action, Stevens used a 20-8 run over the next 7:36 to open a 14-point lead and take control. Jones and Smith combined for 16 points in the spurt. The Engineers were able to cut the lead to 12 briefly before the Ducks went on a 13-2 run to open up their largest lead of the half at 41-18 with 7:26 remaining. Four players scored points with sophomore forward Max Schwartz and sophomore guard Andrew Meszaros netting two baskets apiece.
In the second, the Ducks pushed their margin to 27 with 12 points over the first 2:39 of the half, and RPI could never get closer than 17 the rest of the way. The Engineers (3-4) pressed Stevens from start to finish, leading to countless fast breaks and uncontested layups with advantage ballooning to as much as 45 points late in the second half.
Stevens outscored the visitors 48-10 in the paint and received 37 points off the bench. The Ducks went 54-for-86 (62.8 percent) from the field, 6-for-15 (40 percent) from three-point land and 13-for-18 (72.2 percent) from the foul line. Stevens finished with 35 assists which was just one assist shy of a single-game record. The previous single-game scoring mark was 114 in a win over Cooper Union University on November 19, 1994. The previous made field-goal record was 50 in that same game.
Smith had game-highs in points and rebounds while also adding five assists and three blocks to his line. He shot 14-for-17 from the field. Jones finished with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting, five rebounds and six assists, while junior guard Russ Thompson (West Orange, N.J.) had 12 points, six assists, six rebounds and two steals. Senior guard Mike Cutri was also in double figures with 11 points. Meszaros, Schwartz and freshman forward Nick Santalucia all had eight points and three boards with Meszaros adding four assists to his line. Sophomore guard Matt Skrelja played a strong game as well for the Ducks, netting five points, grabbing seven rebounds, dishing out four assists and notching four thefts. Stevens had 10 steals and five blocks as a team.
RPI shot 29.8 percent (25-for-84) from the field and 19.5 percent from three (8-for-41). The Engineers connected on 83.3 percent of their free throws (25-for-30) and were led by senior guard Matthew Pooley, junior forward Daniel Martin, Redon Qello and freshman guard Nate Fiala who were all in double figures. Qello also added a team-high 11 rebounds.
Stevens led wire-to-wire.
The Ducks will now turn their attention to conference play which begins Friday and Saturday at Alfred University and Elmira College. Friday’s contest against the Saxons is slated for an 8 p.m. tip with the Ducks facing Elmira Saturday at 4 p.m.