The men’s basketball team picked a nonconference win at home on Tuesday following tight losses against Plattsburgh State and SUNY Potsdam this weekend. The Hawks move to 3-3 overall and 0-2 in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC).
In another tightly contested match for the Hawks, after gaining a 10-point cushion in the second half, New Paltz was able to hold on to the advantage despite pressure from the Sage Gators. The Hawks are currently undefeated at home.
Second-year guard Jake Passaretti led the Hawks with 17 points, two rebounds and three assists. Close behind was third-year forward Felix Riascos with 12 points, three rebounds and an assist. Fourth-year captain Cory Garcia led in assists with six and third-year forward Nick Arthur grabbed seven rebounds and five points.
The Hawks fought hard on Friday against the No. 13 Cardinals, led by reigning SUNYAC Player of the Year Jonathan Patron who collected 32 points, 20 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals. Despite several lead changes throughout the game the Hawks ultimately fell 85-75.
The first half saw eight different lead changes and a 47.2 shooting percentage from the Hawks led by 10 points a piece from third-year captain Tristan Wissemann and third-year forward Scott Reisert. The Hawks took an early lead in the second half, but got into foul trouble and suffered a 14-3 run by the Cardinals, giving them a cushion to see out the victory.
“Obviously, our goal against Plattsburgh, as it is for any opponent we are facing, is to win the game,” said fourth-year captain Paddy Parr. “We didn’t accomplish that and we aren’t a team that takes morale victories away from losses. However it showed us how good we can be and how close we are to being a really, really solid team in this league.”
Reisert led the Hawks with 17 points and eight rebounds followed by Wissemann with 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists. First-year forward Isaiah Bien-Aise added a career-high 13 points and seven rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench.
“I’m happy that we came out and threw the first punch. We didn’t care that they were nationally ranked or the defending conference champs, we just went out and played hard,” Wissemann said. “We believe we should’ve won both games, so that just adds even more fuel to the fire for when they come to the Hawk Center.”
On Saturday, the Hawks fell to SUNY Potsdam 73-71. The first half saw four lead changes and the score was tied five times in the second half, but the Bears came out on top in the back-and-forth battle.
“We have to be more consistent on the offensive end and get contributions from more guys,” said Hawks head coach Keith Kenney. “We played good on the road vs a good Potsdam team, but we didn’t execute down the stretch.”
Wissemann led the Hawks with 16 points, three rebounds and two assists. Parr followed with 14 points, five rebounds and nine assists. Passaretti tossed in 13 points and four assists.
The Hawks will host the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) matchup against Catskill Cup rival SUNY Oneonta Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Hawk Center.
“We are looking to put our foot on the pedal in these next two home games and not let up until the horn sounds. The team we have is special and we are going to shock a lot of teams in the SUNYAC,” Parr said. “Our coaching staff has done an amazing job integrating this team and we always talk about how we haven’t even played our best basketball yet. When that happens, we will be a scary team for opponents to face.”