BIG SECOND HALF PROPELS SUNYIT MEN PAST ABINGTON 112-91
MARCY, N.Y. – The SUNYIT Men’s Basketball Team (10-4, 5-3 NEAC) has had their share of impressive shooting performances this season, leading the NEAC with an incredible 50% shooting clip so far. Sunday’s 112-91 win over the Penn State-Abington Nittany Lions – who, prior to Sunday’s game, were in 2nd place in the conference – showcased a whole new level of offensive efficiency.
In particular, the Wildcats laid a 69-spot on the scoreboard for the second half, shooting 63% for the half and making 5 of their 11 attempts from long range. To put that number in perspective, there are currently three teams in the NEAC averaging 69 points or less per game.
The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead in the first half, leading by as many as 18 points after a Ryan James (Saratoga Springs, N.Y. / Saratoga Springs) three-pointer with 7:05 to play in the first. The senior finished with a workmanlike 15 points, adding 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
College basketball, however, is a game of runs, and the Nittany Lions responded to James’s three with a 17-1 run to pull within two, down just 39-37, and SUNYIT would take just a 43-39 lead into the locker room.
In the second half the Nittany Lions would finally tie the score at 48-48 just three minutes in, but ironically in a game dominated by offense, it was the Wildcat defense that put a stop to the visitor’s comeback attempt. Three steals in the span of a minute helped SUNYIT push the lead back up to double-digits.
Included in that tally was a blocked pass by Maverick Hodge (Bronx, N.Y. / Samuel Gompers)that ricocheted right to Alexander Drake(West Sand Lake, N.Y. / Lansingburgh) for a fast-break layup. On the very next play, in almost the same spot right around the midcourt line, it was James picking the pocket of Abington guard Kevin Cooper, leading to a layup and a foul on the other end. The play forced an Abington timeout, but James would knock down the free throw when play resumed to complete the 3-point play and give SUNYIT a 67-55 advantage, the team’s largest lead since the 6:02 mark of the first half.
Drake had a near-flawless game for the Wildcats, turning in a career-performance with a game-high 24 points on a deadeye 10-for-13 from the field. The diminutive second-year guard was almost unstoppable as he weaved his way in between the menacing Nittany Lion front line, which includes the 6-foot-7 Avery Barnes – ranked first in the NEAC in blocks and second in rebounds behind only his 6-foot-5 teammate and last year’s NEAC Player of the Year Mike Marvin.
Drake connected on 4 of his 6 three-point attempts, and also dished out 6 assists, second only to SUNYIT point guard Hodge, who joined Drake in the backcourt with a fantastic game of his own that included 13 ponits, a team-high 8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals.
All told, five SUNYIT players scored in double-figures, with Malcolm Jones (Syracuse, N.Y. / Fowler) having what would have been a quiet 21-point performance on 9-of-11 from the field, were it not for a thunderous jam on a fastbreak in the second half to give SUNYIT a 90-69 lead with 6:55 to play.
Finally for the Wildcats, Alonzo Grainger (Syracuse, N.Y. / Liverpool) continued to put up points off the bench, netting 17 in his 14 minutes of play.
The Wildcats did a good job of containing the aggressive Marvin in the second half. The conference’s leading scorer and rebounder with averages of 22.1 ppg and 12.3 rbg, the junior still finished with a double-double of 21 points and 13 rebounds but was held to only 6 points and 2 boards in the second half.
Late in the second half the Wildcats were able to rest their starters due to solid play from reserves Maurice Holden (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Snow Hill), Eric Corcoran (Holland Patent, N.Y.), Devin Muha (Walworth, N.Y. / Gananda), Thomas Lucas(Buffalo, N.Y. / Tapestry), and Michael Aiello (Baldwinsville, N.Y. / Baker).
In particular, Aiello knocked down his only three-point attempt of the night on an assist from Holden, and buried a pair of free throws later to finish with 5 points, and Muha was able to grab 3 offensive rebounds in just a few minutes of work.
The Wildcats’ 112 points were just 10 shy of the all-time SUNYIT record of 122 points, set back in the 1983-84 season in a game against Bard College and later tied in a game versus Vassar during the 1988-89 season.
The Wildcats will take a break from conference action to host local rival Hamilton College on Tuesday night. The men will play the first game of a doubleheader with the women’s teams, and that game is set to start at 6:00 pm at the Campus Center Gymnasium.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES-CATS BEAT WELLS IN REMATCH
MARCY, N.Y. – The SUNYIT Men’s Basketball team (7-4, 2-3) used a team effort Wednesday night, using an explosive second half to defeat visiting Wells College (6-9, 5-3) 85-73. The win comes less than 48 hours after SUNYIT lost to the Express in Aurora, N.Y., and snaps a six-game losing streak to the Express dating back to February of 2011.
The Wildcats went down early when Wells College was able to start the game on a 16-6 run. The hosts clawed their way back, however, taking their first lead 35-33 with just 1:49 left in the half on a pair of Sallo Fofana (Bronx, N.Y./ George Washington) free throws. Sallo would go on to lead all scorers with 20 points and added 5 rebounds.
With 8 Wildcats tallying points and 5 in double figures, the hosts were able to take over the game in the second half. Starting the half on a 15-4 run over the first 6 minutes the Wildcats left little doubt late in the game. The hosts shot 69% from the floor and 50% from 3-point range in the second half putting the game out of reach late in the second half.
The Wildcats leaned heavily on the play of Maverick Hodge (Bronx, N.Y./ Samuel Gompers) who tallied 15 points on 7-10 shooting to go along with 6 assists and 3 steals.Kaleel Johnson (Syracuse, N.Y./ Syr. Acad. Of Science) also had a big game for the hosts scoring 13 points, and adding 5 boards.
Wells College had 12 players tally points in the losing effort with Jonathan Hurtado leading the way with 15.
The Wildcats return to action Saturday at 1:00 pm to take on Gallaudet in another NEAC battle. The women’s game will follow at 3:00 pm.
SUNYIT WILDCATS CRUISE TO SLC TOURNEY HOOPS TITLE
BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – The SUNYIT Men’s Basketball Team (7-2, 2-1 NEAC) kept rolling this weekend with a pair of victories at the Sarah Lawrence Invitational. Winning both games by more than 20 points, the Wildcats took home the tournament championship and are off to their best start through 9 games since the team joined the NEAC.
Game 1: SUNYIT 83, Alfred State 59
In game one, the Wildcats cruised to a 24-point victory behind 20 points from Ryan James. The senior guard knocked down 6-of-12 from the field, including 3 three-pointers, and also grabbed 5 rebounds.
The Wildcats led by just 7 at the half, but opened things up in the second with a 23 to 5 run that took things all the way down to the 12:49 mark.
SUNYIT spread the wealth on offense as four players scored in double-digits, but also got after it on defense in forcing 23 Alfred State turnovers.
In the second game the Wildcats scored the first 9 points of the game and never looked back, finishing the half up by 21 before going on to an easy victory in the second.
James again led the way for the Wildcats, scoring 25 points to lead all scorers. Notably, James went an incredible 7-for-7 from the three-point line. Teammate Alonzo Grainger(Syracuse, N.Y. / Liverpool) was nearly as good, netting 5-of-6 from long range and finishing the game with 15 points.
Joining Grainger and James in double-figures were second semester newcomers Malcolm Jones (Syracuse, N.Y. / Fowler)and Sallo Fofana (Bronx, N.Y. / George Washington). Jones registered the game’s only double-double, scoring 18 points while grabbing 11 boards out of the guard position, while Fofana added 15 points to go along with his 9 rebounds.
In shooting an astounding 55% from 3-point range, the Wildcats moved the ball to perfection in recording 26 team assists to just 11 turnovers.
The Wildcats won’t have long to enjoy their championship, as they head to two-time defending NEAC Champions Morrisville State for a Tuesday matchup. Game time is set for 1:00 pm.