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FISHER HOOPS DOUBLES UP ON WINS AT UC-MHTS/ESPN INSTANT REPLAYS READY!

FISHER HOOPS DOUBLES UP ON WINS AT UC-MHTS/ESPN INSTANT REPLAYS READY!

Aaron Nevins glides in for two.


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Box Score 
UTICA, NY (February 4, 2014) – The Utica College men’s basketball team lost to visiting St. John Fisher College 92-69 in Empire 8 Conference action at the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium Tuesday night.  Chris Jeffers (Albany, NY/Bishop Maginn) and freshman Agim Hamiti (Prishtina, Kosovo/Syracuse Academy of Science) each netted 13 points for the Pioneers, while Marion Lewis (Bronx, NY/Lehman) added ten points off the bench.

The Pioneers return to the hardwood next Tuesday when they travel to Empire 8 Conference provisional member Houghton College to take on the Highlanders at 6 p.m.

netFisher led from the first bucket of the contest and shot an impressive 63.8% from the floor (37-for-58) on the afternoon. Four different players scored in double figures for the Cardinals including reserve Charles McVay who registered 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the floor. 

Sophomore Chaz Lott chipped in with 18 points for Fisher, while big man Keegan Ryan added 16 and Tyler Hart netted 12.  Lott was one assist and four steals shy of a triple double as he finished the evening with nine assists, six steals and 18 points.  Ryan posted a double-double as he hauled in 15 rebounds to go with his 16 points. 

The Cardinals opened the contest on an 18-8 run in the first 6:44 behind six points from Tyler Hart.  The Pioneers answered right away with a 9-2 run in a span of 2:08 to cut its deficit to just three points, 20-17, with 11:08 to go in the first half of play. UC’s Marion Lewis (Bronx, NY/Lehman) netted all nine of the Pioneers’ points in the run.

Fisher answered with a 20-6 run in the next 5:02 to take a commanding 40-23 advantage with 6:06 left in the first half of play.  Fisher maintained its double-digit lead for the remainder of the first half and took a 50-28 lead into the locker room at the intermission.

The Cardinals did not slow in the second half as they opened on a 23-9 run to take a 73-39 lead with 11:36 left in regulation. Lott and Ryan each registered six points apiece for the Cardinals in the stretch.  Hamiti and the Pioneers made one last push, outscoring the visitors 16-3 in a span of 4:48 to cut their deficit to 21 points, 76-55 with 6:48 remaining, but that was as close as they would get.

Mark Felicia (Phoenix, NY/Phoenix) came off the bench and added nine points and four rebounds for the Pioneers.  Kendall Brown (Queens, NY/Benjamin Cardozo) also chipped in with nine points on 3-of-6 shooting from the floor for Utica.  

The Pioneers have lost 11 of their last 12 and their record moved to 6-14 overall and 1-10 in conference play.  Fisher snapped a four game losing streak and improved to 12-9 overall and 6-5 in the conference. 

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Cardinals Defeat Pioneers in Empire 8 Women’s Hoops

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Box Score 
Utica, NY (February 4, 2014) – The Utica College women’s basketball team lost to visiting St. John Fisher College 80-57 in Empire 8 Conference action at the Clark Athletic Center on Tuesday night.

Utica’s Mary Miceli (New Rochelle, NY/New Rochelle) netted 23 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor (3-of-5 from 3-point land). FreshmanKelsey Cowell (Schenectady, NY/Mohonasen) tied her career-high with 15 rebounds and she also added eight points for the Pioneers.

netFisher shot 51% (29-of-56) from the floor and led for the majority of the contest (88.4%). Fisher scored 17 points off of 19 Utica turnovers in the game. The Cardinals were led by 18 points from Portia Velasco, while Sydney Bloomstein (15), Camaryn Buckner (13) and Mary Kate Cusack (11) rounded out the double-digit scorers for the Cardinals.

The Pioneers opened up a 14-12 lead in the first 8:39 of the contest behind six points form Miceli and four from Samantha Stayer (Allegany, NY/Allegany-Limestone). Utica was 5-of-6 form the charity stripe in the opening stretch and the Pioneers’ caused five Fisher turnovers to start the game.

Fisher answered with a 34-15 run to close the first half of play as the Cardinals took a commanding 46-29 lead into the locker room at the half. Sydney Bloomstein, Portia Velasco and Camaryn Buckner combined for 27 points in the stretch.

The visitors did not slow down in the second half as they used a 21-10 run in a stretch of 12 minutes to open up their largest lead of the game, 67-39, over the Pioneers with 8:00 left in regulation.

Utica was able to finish the contest on an 18-13 run in the final 6:32 of the contest but it proved to be too late as the Cardinals capped the evening with a 23 point advantage as the final horn sounded.

Stayer finished the night with seven points, while Bridget Greenwlad also added eight points and seven rebounds for the home team. Christy Traglia (Mohawk, NY/Mohawk)also chipped in with seven points for the Pioneers.

Utica has lost seven in a row and dropped to 5-15 on the season and 0-11 in conference play. The Cardinals snapped a two game slide and improved to 13-8 overall and 6-5 in conference play.

Utica returns to the hardwood next Tuesday when it travels to Empire 8 provisional member Houghton College to take on the Highlanders at 8 p.m.

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Utica, NY (2/3/14) – The Utica College men’s basketball team looks to bounce back Tuesday, after losing six straight games, as it faces Empire 8 conference opponent St. John Fisher College at 6 p.m.  Tuesday’s contest marks the Pioneers’ annual “Play 4Kay” game for breast cancer awareness.  

netPlay 4 Kay:  The 2013 Play 4Kay initiative is an opportunity for a nation of coaches to raise breast cancer awareness and funds for research on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond… A 50/50 raffle and bake sale will take place during the game with proceeds benefiting the Perfect Fit Boutique … The boutique specializes in products for post mastectomy women who are breast cancer survivors, and provides bras and bathing suites unique to the needs of these patients.

Last Game: UC lost a pair of conference games last weekend… On Friday night, the Pioneers tied the game at 93 with nine seconds left, however, Alfred hit a buzzer-beating three pointer to win the game 96-93…  Marion Lewis (Bronx, NY/Lehman) scored a career-high 31 points for the Pioneers while shooting 60% (12-for-20) from the field…  On Saturday, Elmira held a lead from 10:21 in the first half and never lost it as they defeated the Pioneers 76-65…  Lewis again led the team in scoring with 13 points and Aaron Nevins (Buffalo, NY/Canisius) chipped in with 12.

netEmpire 8 Leaders: Aaron Nevins (Buffalo, NY/Canisius) is currently third in the Empire 8 Conference in scoring per game (17.8)…  Chris Jeffers (Albany, NY/Bishop Maginn)(12.0) and Marion Lewis (Bronx, NY/Lehman) (11.2) are also on the leader board, with Jeffers also ranking fourth in rebounds per game (8.8).

Career Records: Junior point guard Aaron Nevins (Buffalo, NY/Canisius) recently moved into eighth place on the College’s all-time assist list… Nevins has 262 career assists and needs just eight more to move into sole possession of seventh place on the list… Senior Chris Jeffers (Albany, NY/Bishop Maginn) currently ranks third on the College’s career rebounding list with 603 over the course of the last three seasons… He needs 45 more to overtake Mark Carmichael (1987-90) for second all-time.

Cardinals Report: St. John Fisher is 11-9 overall and 5-5 in the conference… Fisher is coming off of two conference losses this past weekend to Stevens (76-59) and Hartwick (77-65)… The Cardinals have a balanced scoring attack and are led by their top three scorers Keegan Ryan (13.3), Chazz Lott (12.5), and  Adam Ambielli (11.1)… St. John Fisher is third in the conference in scoring defense (69.5) and three point percentage (0.371).

Cardinals vs. Pioneers: In the first outing this season in Rochester, NY, Utica was handed an 83-65 loss…  Five players for the Cardinals scored in double figures as they shot 58% from the field…  In the last 10 games between the two teams, St. John Fisher holds a 9-1 record over Utica… The Pioneers last win was on Feb. 3, 2012.

Looking Ahead: Utica will hit the road to play provisional Empire 8 Conference opponent Houghton on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 6 p.m.

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Women’s Basketball Set to “Play 4 Kay” Tuesday Against St. John Fisher 

Utica, NY (2/3/14)- The Utica College women’s basketball team is set to host its annual Play 4 Kay game for breast cancer awareness as it takes on St. John Fisher College Tuesday evening at 8 p.m.  Play 4 Kay is a nationally recognized breast cancer awareness event spearheaded by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).

netLAST TIME OUT: The Pioneers dropped both Empire 8 Conference games over the weekend, losing to Alfred University 75-66 at home on Friday, before falling at Elmira 64-57 Saturday afternoon. 

GAME COVERAGE: Live video and live stats for all home games are provided by Utica College… ESPN Radio (99.1 FM) and Utica College’s WPNR radio station (90.7 FM) will also be providing live audio for the contest… Links to the game coverage can be found on the women’s basketball schedule page at ucpioneers.com. 

PLAY 4KAY:  The 2014 Play 4Kay initiative (formerly known as WBCA Pink Zone) is an opportunity for a nation of coaches to raise breast cancer awareness and funds for research on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond … Last year, during their game televised on Time Warner Cable, the Pioneers downed Empire 8 foe Hartwick College in a thrilling 64-61 victory… On top of winning, UC was able to raise over $500 for the Perfect Fit Boutique… A 50/50 raffle and bake sale will also take place during the game with proceeds going to the Perfect Fit Boutique … The boutique specializes in products for post mastectomy women who are breast cancer survivors, and provides bras and bathing suites unique to the needs of these patients … The Pioneers have hosted this event for the past five years, and have managed to raise over $2000.

netGREENWALD MOVES UP ALL-TIME LIST: Senior Bridget Greenwald (Wayne, NJ/Wayne Hills) is currently 12th on the College’s career rebounding list with 503 boards… This season, she leads the Empire 8 Conference and ranks 31st nationally with 11.5 rebounds per game…  She has collected 217 rebounds and has eight double-doubles this season.

SCOUTING ST. JOHN FISHER: The Cardinals are 12-8 overall and 5-5 in the Empire 8 Conference…  They are coming off a 73-51 loss to league-leader Hartwick College on Saturday…. Fisher is led by senior Camaryn Buckner, who is averaging 14.4 points per game.

AGAINST THE CARDINALS: UC is 5-6 against the Cardinals since 2008… Last year the teams split, with the home team winning each game… Fisher topped Utica 77-63 in Rochester on Jan. 18. 

LOOKING AHEAD:  Utica travels to Houghton, NY next Tuesday for a match up against Empire 8 provisional member, Houghton College…  Tip off is set for 8 p.m.

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UC MEN FALL 96-93 WOMEN 75-66-HOOPS TWINBILL FRIDAY VS ALFRED-INSTANT REPLAYS READY

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Box Score 
Utica, NY (1/31/2014) – Alfred University’s Ryan Mahon drilled the game-winning 3-pointer as time expired to lift the Saxons to a 96-93 victory over host Utica College in Empire 8 Conference action at the Clark Athletic Center on Friday night.  Utica’s Marion Lewis (Bronx, NY/Lehman) netted a career-high 31 points to pace the Pioneers.

Alfred used a 21-10 run in the final 5:44 of the contest to rally past the Pioneers. The match up featured ten ties and six lead changes. 

Utica’s largest lead of the game was 13 points, 60-47, 3:18 into the second half of play.  The Pioneers led the majority of the contest (66.8%), holding the lead for a total of 26:43 throughout until surrendering the lead for good with 2:17 left in regulation.

netAlfred, which averages 99.8 points per game for the season, has now won four in a row and improved to 14-4 overall and 6-2 in the Empire 8. The Pioneers have lost nine of their last ten contests and fell to 6-12 overall and 1-8 in conference play.

Alfred’s run and gun style of play saw 15 players step foot on the court, 12 of whom netted at least two points.  Thomas Tsatsis led the way for the Saxons with a team-high 18 points, while Jerry Kincel added 17 points. 

Mahon scored 14 on 4-of-10 shooting from the floor while 6-foot-8 big man Steve Lothridge chipped in with 14 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.

The Pioneers’ used a 20-8 run in a span of 4:50 late in the first half to take a commanding ten point lead, 42-32, with 3:49 remaining before the halftime horn.

UC’s Ian Henderson (Chateaugay, NY/Chateaugay) led the first half charge with eight points, while Lewis and senior guard Aaron Nevins (Buffalo, NY/Canisius) added four points each for the Pioneers. Henderson finished the night with 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting from behind the arc.   Alfred answered with an 11-4 run in the final 3:34 of the first half to cut their deficit to 46-43 at the half.

UC opened the second half on a 14-4 run in a span of 3:33 to gain its largest lead of the game, 60-47, early in the second half.  Lewis led the charge with seven points in the span.

netAlfred slowly chipped away at the Pioneers lead throughout the second half, but UC still managed a six point advantage, 85-79, with 4:29 left in regulation.  However, a 9-2 run in a span of 1:47, capped by a Tim Pacheco layup with 2:17 left in regulation gave the Saxons their first lead since the first half, 90-89.

UC would tie the score twice in the closing minutes to keep the Clark Athletic Center crowd on the edge of their seats.  Utica point guard Aaron Nevins (Buffalo, NY/Canisius), who finished the game with 23 points, tied the score at 93-93 when he made a lay-up and was fouled with nine seconds left on the game clock.  Nevins missed the ensuing free throw and Alfred had time for one final possession. 

Tsatsis drove the lane and collapsed the Pioneer defense, then found Mahon at the top of the arc.  Mahon cashed in on the 3-pointer as time expired to push the Saxons to their 14th victory of the season.  The Alfred bench cleared as it celebrated their sixth conference victory.

UC’s Chris Jeffers (Albany, NY/Bishop Maginn) grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds and chipped in with nine points, while Marty Felicia (Phoenix, NY/Phoenix) added eight points.

Utica hits the road on Saturday when the Pioneers travel to Elmira College for a conference match up against the Soaring Eagles at 2 p.m. Utica looks to avenge an early season loss (53-49) at the hands of Elmira.

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Women’s Hoops Falls to Alfred in E8 Play at Home 

 

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Utica, NY (1-31-14) – Junior Samantha Stayer (Allegany, NY/Allegany-Limestone) posted a double-double on 22 points and 11 boards to pace the Utica College women’s basketball team Friday night despite a 75-66 loss to visiting Alfred University at the Clark Athletic Center in Empire 8 action.

UC falls to 5-13 overall and remains winless in league play at 0-9 while AU improves to 6-12 on the season and grabs its first win in conference play.  Utica is back in action Saturday as it travels to Elmira (4 p.m.) for another E8 battle while the Saxons return to the hardwood on Tuesday when they travel to Elmira (8 p.m.).

netThe Pioneers jumped out to an early 9-0 lead off four points from Stayer and five from Miceli just two minutes into the game. AU answered however with six straight points to pull within three, 9-6, at 17:34.

The teams traded baskets over the next six minutes before the Saxons took their first lead of the game, 21-19, close to halfway through the first 20 minutes.

Alfred would manage an 18-5 run over the next seven minutes to take its biggest lead of the half, 36-24, with just under four minutes left. UC would respond with a 7-0 push to pull within six points, 36-30, headed into the break.

The home team opened up the second half on a 9-0 run, over the first three minutes, to knot the contest up, 39-39, before Alfred began to regain the lead and momentum. The visitors, nonetheless, managed another run over the next ten minutes to take a nine point advantage, 61-52, at 10:33 and would hold on for their first league victory of the season.

Sophomore guard Mary Miceli (New Rochelle, NY/New Rochelle) netted 18 points for the Pioneers along with eight rebounds, four assists and four steals while Kelsey Cowell (Schenectady, NY/Mohonasen) added 10 points as well as eight boards in the loss.

Alfred’s Harley Cleary scored a team-high 21 points while Kathryn Polletta chipped in with 11 for the Saxons. 

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Utica, NY (1/29/14) – The Utica College men’s basketball team looks to bounce back this weekend, after losing four straight games, as it faces Empire 8 conference opponents, Alfred University and Elmira College. UC plays Alfred at home Friday at 6 p.m. and then travels to Elmira Saturday at 2 p.m.

netGame Coverage: Live video for all home games is available at empire8.tv… Links for live stats for this weekend’s contests are available on the Pioneers’ schedule page at www.ucpioneers.com. Friday’s game against Alfred can be heard on the radio on ESPN Radio 99.1 FM.


Social Media: If you can’t make it out to the game, make sure to follow live updates on the Pioneers official Twitter feed, @UCPioneers… If you are at the game and on Twitter, or talking about the game on Twitter, make sure to use #letsgoUC… You can also “Like” the Pioneers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UCpioneers.

Last Game: UC lost a pair of home conference games this past weekend to Hartwick College, Friday (93-82) and Stevens Institute of Technology on Saturday (92-67) … Four UC players finished Friday’s contest with double figures, junior Ian Henderson (Chateaugay, NY/Chateaugay) led the team with 23 points, followed by Aaron Nevins (Buffalo, NY/Canisius) (14), Chris Jeffers (Albany, NY/Bishop Maginn) (12) and Marion Lewis (Bronx, NY/Lehman) (11) … Two players registered double figures on Saturday as seniorChris Jeffers (Albany, NY/Bishop Maginn) led the team with 14 points and seven rebounds and Marion Lewis (Bronx, NY/Lehman) chipped in off the bench with 12 points … UC went 15-for-20 (75.0%) at the free throw line and outrebounded Stevens 44-to-42.

Individual Season Records: A pair of Pioneer players are close to reaching UC’s single-season record book … In 17 games this season, Henderson has made 31 3-point shots and needs just 21 more to crack the top 10 list for most 3-pointers in a single-season … Marty Felicia (Phoenix, NY/Phoenix) has 13 blocks on the season and needs 17 more to crack the College’s single season top 10 list.

netCareer Records: Junior point guard Aaron Nevins (Buffalo, NY/Canisius) recently moved into eighth place on the College’s all-time assist list … Nevins has 257 career assists and he needs just nine more to move into sole possession of seventh place on the list … Senior Chris Jeffers (Albany, NY/Bishop Maginn) currently ranks fourth on the College’s career rebounding list with 584 over the course of the last three seasons … Jeffers needs 11 rebounds to move into third place all-time … Former Pioneer Jeff Ward (Ossining, NY/Ossining High School) currently occupies third place after collecting 594 rebounds in four seasons at UC (2009-2013).

Saxons Report: The Saxons are 13-4 on the year and 4-2 in the conference … They have won all of their home games thus far (five) … Alfred is coming to Utica after a win against Houghton College (103-73) … As a team, the Saxons are ranked first in the conference in scoring offense (100.2), scoring margin (13.6), 3-point field goals made (9.9 per game), and offensive rebounds (22.8) …The player to watch out for is senior Thomas Tsatsis … Tsatsis is third in the conference in steals per game (2.0), 10th in points per game, averaging 14.1 and 16th in assists per game (2.4).

Last 10 years: In the last 10 years, UC is 16-4 against Alfred … The Pioneers have won the last four meetings against the Saxons, including two 86-74 victories last season … The last time UC lost to Alfred was back on Jan. 8, 2011 by the score of 65-60.

Stats against Elmira: The Pioneers lost a close home game to Elmira a few weeks ago, 53-49 … Two Pioneer players finished the game with double figures as Nevins and Felicia both tallied 11 points … In the last ten years, UC is 18-3 against Elmira.

Eagles Report: Elmira is off to a 5-10 start and is 1-4 in the Empire 8… The Soaring Eagles are coming off a road loss against conference opponent St. John Fisher, 69-63… As a team, they rank second in the conference in rebounding defense (32.6), third in 3-point field goals made (7.5 per game), and fourth in the conference in free throw percentage (70.4) … The player to watch out for is junior forward Neil Randolph… Randolph is second in the conference in points per game (18.9), fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (39.7), fifth in free throw percentage (83.3), sixth in 3-point field goals per game (2.1), and ninth in field goal percentage (43.5).

Looking Ahead: Utica will return home to play conference opponent St. John Fisher on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m.

 

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SUNYIT RACES PAST UC IN NON CONFERENCE ACTION-GAME ON ESPN 99.1 FM!-MHTS INSTANT REPLAY READY
UTICA, NY (1/7/2014) – The Utica College men’s basketball team lost to visiting SUNYIT 95-77 in non-conference action at the Harold T. Clark Athletic Center on Tuesday afternoon.  UC’s Chris Jeffers (Albany, NY/Bishop Maginn) led the Pioneers with his sixth double-double of the season as he netted 16 points and hauled in 11 rebounds.

netThe Pioneers dropped their first home contest of the season and their record moved to 5-6 overall.  UC continues its three game home stand this weekend as the Pioneers host a pair of Empire 8 Conference contests.   UC will take on Elmira College at 6 p.m. Friday night, before hosting Ithaca College at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

SUNYIT was led by 20 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks from second semester newcomer Sallo Fofana (Bronx, N.Y.) who was making his debut with the Wildcats.  17 of the freshman’s 20 points came in the first half.

SUNYIT opened the contest on a 20-7 run in the first 5:29 of the game. Ryan James and Alexander Drake led the opening charge for the Wildcats.  The SUNYIT defense was active in the stretch, forcing six turnovers in the first five minutes of the game.

The Pioneers responded with a 24-14 run of their own in the next 8:04 of the contest to pull within three points of lead, 34-31, with 14:21. Utica was 3-for-6 from 3-point range and 7-for-8 from the free throw line in the stretch. Junior point guard Aaron Nevins (Buffalo, NY/Canisius) and junior transfer Ian Henderson (Chateaugay, NY/Chateaugay)each posted five points in the run for UC.

netUC closed within one point of the lead after sophomore Robert Tutein (Nanuet, NY/Nanuet) drilled one of his two three pointers of the night with 5:19 to go in first half of play.  That is when SUNYIT turned it on, with a 15-2 run in the final 5:19 of the first half, to earn a commanding 52-38 advantage at the half.

The Pioneers were able to dwindle their deficit to 12 points with 14:42 to go in regulation, but that was as close as they would get, as SUNYIT kept the offensive pressure on for the remainder of the second half to earn the 18 point victory.

SUNYIT did not surrender the lead the entire contest after scoring the first two buckets early on.  The Wildcats’ largest lead of the game was 27 points, 90-63, with 5:39 to go in the contest.  21 Pioneer turnovers led to 29 points on the other end for SUNYIT.

Aaron Nevins (Buffalo, NY/Canisius) and Agim Hamiti (Prishtina, Kosovo/Syracuse Academy of Science) each recorded nine points apiece for the Pioneers.  Hamiti connected on 4-of-5 shots and also added three assists. Utica’s Ian Henderson (Chateaugay, NY/Chateaugay) knocked down 3-of-7 3-pointers and finished with 11 points, marking his second double-digit scoring effort in the last four games.

Junior Jon Pimentel (Bronx, NY/John F. Kennedy) registered his first points as a Pioneer going 2-for-2 from the floor and 2-for-3 from the charity stripe for a total of seven points.  Mark Felicia (Phoenix, NY/Phoenix) also provided a spark for UC off the bench, grabbing seven rebounds and posting six points.  Kendall Brown (Queens, NY/Benjamin Cardozo) and Michael Howard (Bronx, NY/John F. Kennedy) each chipped in with four points apiece for UC.

Five different players scored in double figures for the Wildcats, including Fofana (20), Alonzo Grainger (17), Alexander Drake (16), Malcolm Jones (14) and Maverick Hodge (13).

SUNYIT completed the regular season sweep of the Pioneers and UC is now 14-9 against the local rival since 2001. 

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UTICA, NY (1-6-13) – The Utica College men’s basketball team looks to get back on track Tuesday afternoon as they welcome cross-town rival SUNYIT for a non-conference match … Tip-of is set for 2 p.m. at the Clark Athletic Center.

netStruggles on the Road:Utica had its three-game winning streak snapped this past weekend as its dropped back-to-back games, on the road, to Stevens Institute of Technology and Hartwick College, both by double digits … UC lost to the Ducks, 81-67, on Friday evening before losing to Wick on Saturday, 92-77 to remain winless at 0-4 in regular season play.

UC Flawless at Home:The Pioneers are a perfect 3-0 on their home court this season and 7-0 dating back to the end of last season winning by an average of 8.5 points over that span … This December, the squad rattled off three straight to close out the 2013 calendar year … Utica hit triple digits against SUNY Canton on Dec.4th en route to a 17-point win, 103-86, before edging out two victories over Union College (78-74) and SUNY Cortland (71-67) to wrap up 2013 … Over the last five years under Coach Connolly’s reign, Utica has posted a 29-32 ledger on their home hardwood.

Scooping the Cross-Town “Cats”: SUNY Institute of Technology presently holds a 4-2 overall mark including a 2-1 ledger in SUNYAC play … The Wildcats are 3-1 on the road losing only to Cazenovia by two points, 86-84 … Their three victories, however, have come by three points over Cobleskill, two points to Keuka and nine most recently to SUNY Cortland …SUNYIT downed UC earlier this season, 90-80, at Campus Center in Marcy, NY on Dec. 1st.

netWelcome Back Coach Durr: SUNYIT Assistant Coach Pete Durr spent two seasons an assistant coach under Head Coach Chris Connolly right here at Utica College (2009-2011). Following his two year stint with the Pioneers, the 2006 graduate of Notre Dame High School accepted a position at Union College where he spent two seasons prior to coming back to Utica to assist SUNYIT Head Coach Kevin Grimmer.

January Home-Friendly: UC will play three straight at the Clark Athletic Center this week and 6-of-8 throughout the month of January … Following Tuesday’s non-conference match against the Wildcats, Utica opens up a stretch of nine consecutive Empire 8 battles starting with Elmira (1/10/14) and Ithaca (1/11/14) … After a weekend away from home versus Naz and Fisher, the squad heads back home for three straight against Wick, Stevens and Alfred.

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UTICA COLLEGE KNOCKS OF CORTLAND STATE 71-67-IMPROVE TO 5-3

Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo

12/31

netThe Utica College men’s basketball team held off a late Cortland State surge to win today’s non league matchup by a score of 71-67, at UC’s beautiful Clark Athletic Center. With the win, UC improves to (5-3) on the season.

It was a sluggish start for both clubs, not at all surprising considering Utica College has been off the floor for three long weeks.

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# 30 Rich Smith blows past # 51 Estarfaa Blair.

Both the Red Dragons and Pioneers got into foul trouble early as well, with each team sending two starters to the bench in the first six minutes of the contest.

The Pioneers did get it rolling late in the first half, riding a 16-2 run, over a five minute span. Ian Henderson came off the bench and hit two key three pointers during the run, adding to Mark Felicia’s 6 first half points, lifting Utica to a 36-31 lead at the break. 

The Pioneers, who won their third straight game and fourth in their last five starts, opened the second half almost as sluggish as they did the first.

Cortland reeled off a 9-3 run of their own, fueled by two long three’s from freshman guard Terrence Felder, to give the Red Dragons a 48-46 lead with 11:18 remaining in the game.

Following a key timeout to settle his troops after losing the lead, Pioneers head coach Chris Connolly saw his club go on an 8-2 run over the next three and a half minutes, regaining the lead at 54-50.

utica-college-logo1The seesaw battle continued down the stretch in the second half, as Cortland State converted on two consecutive UC miscues and regained the lead at 64-61 with just 3:18 to go in the game.

The Pioneers responded with a well timed, 10-3 run over the final three minutes to pull out the victory. 

Marion Lewis and Aaron Nevins led the balanced UC attack with 14 points each this afternoon.

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Ian Henderson shows great form on a jump shot.

Cortland was led by the superb efforts of big man Garen Spendjian, who poured in a season, and career high 30 points for the Red Dragons. 

The game featured seven lead changes and six ties, but the Pioneers managed to hang tough and head in to conference play on a high note. 

Utica’s largest lead was 18-7 early in the first after a crushing 16-2 run in a span of 5:10. 

Mark Felicia (Phoenix, NY/Phoenix) and Ian Henderson (Chateaugay, NY/Chateaugay) fueled the Pioneers’ early push with six points apiece and the Utica defense held the visitors to 1-for-10 from the floor in the stretch.  

Utica College will surely break out the party hats and noise makers to celebrate today’s New Years Eve win. The Pioneers will then prepare for their key Empire 8 season opener on Friday night at Stevens Institute, in Hoboken, NJ.

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