By Zach D'Amico
Not only did the Saint Vincent College men’s basketball team win on its Senior Day, but senior forward Tom Kromka also notched his 1,000th collegiate point.
The Bearcats (14-2, 21-4) defeated Chatham University 80-73 in their regular season finale on Friday, Feb. 15 in the Carey Center.
Kromka entered his Senior Day with 997 career points and surpassed quadruple digits three minutes into the game off a layup to give the Bearcats a 7-0 lead.
Head coach DP Harris commented on Kromka’s career accomplishment.
“I think that any time you’re one of those guys who gets to hang your ball on the wall, it’s really special. And that you get to do it on senior night with the conference championship, I think that’s awesome. He’s been the reason why we’ve won all year,” Harris said.
Josh Duda returned from an injury which sidelined the junior guard since Dec. 30 and knocked down his first 3-point attempt to put Saint Vincent ahead 11-3.
“I think Duda makes us that much better. That’s tough to come in cold and make that three,” Harris said.
The Bearcats managed a steady lead throughout the first half as they held a 39-30 halftime lead.
On his Senior Day, Mike Simmons went 4-for-4 from the field, including two 3-pointers.
Andrew Reed made a cross-court pass to Simmons who nailed a deep tray, giving the Bearcats a 63-46 lead.
Harris commented on the performances by his two seniors on their Senior Day.
“I thought it was great. Mike and Tom, you always know they’re going to be there…it’s a special night for our seniors. They did a great job,” he said.
After trailing most of the second half, the Cougars cut the lead to four points at 73-69 when Anthony Bomar hit a deep jumper with 26 second left.
However, Saint Vincent was able to make its free throws down the stretch to pull out a seven-point victory.
Kromka led SVC with 20 points making 10-13 shots from the foul line. Simmons and Shemar Bennett both finished with 11 points.
Isaiah Brown led all scorers with 26.
“Tonight was like being at the opera. Everybody was real quiet. I think both teams wanted get into the playoffs and move on,” Harris said.
Saint Vincent entered the game knowing that it would be the No. 1 seed in the PAC playoffs.
Harris commented on his team’s mentality entering the postseason.
“Not to high, not to low. It’s ‘just keep your head about you and move to the next stage of business’” he said.
The Bearcats host Thiel College for a quarterfinal matchup on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Carey Center.