From start to finish, the men’s basketball game Sunday afternoon was intense, with both teams scoring over 80 points by the end. As an ice storm raged down for the second weekend in a row and many sports had games postponed and canceled, the Hawks prepared to take on another challenge. Our Hawks traveled to Buffalo to play Buffalo State on their home court. At 2 p.m. on Sunday, the Bengals and the Hawks faced off.
Buffalo State secured an early lead with a three-pointer right off the bat. The Hawks responded with scoring a layup and a jumper back-to-back, bringing the score up to 4-3 and taking the lead. From there, it was a constant scrimmage back and forth.
Second-year guard Ryan Blondo carried the first quarter’s back and forth battle. He made three jumpers, a free throw and a three-pointer to secure points for the Hawks. Second-year guard Sean St. Lucia came into play during the second quarter with three jumpers and a layup in the paint.
The Hawks fought hard, coming up right on the Bengals heels, but the first half ended 35-44 in the visitors favor. Second-year guard/forward Solomon Neuhaus came onto the court hot for the second half, scoring the first point with a jumper in the paint. From there, the Hawks began to close the gap. They were creeping up on victory heels. Blondo and Neuhaus bagged free throw after free throw while St. Lucia and first-year forward Isaiah Bien-Aise scored non-stop.
The point gap was getting smaller by the minute. St. Lucia brought the gap to only 62-63 with a good three-pointer, with 10:36 left, before the Bengals took the lead again. Immediately after, Blondo brought the score to 64-65 with a jumper in the paint. The Bengals took the lead once again, only for Neuhaus to make a three-pointer with 9:16 left, taking the gap to only one point once again.
With the score at 67-68, the Bengals fought back hard. They scored point after point, and the Hawks played their best, but were not able to close the gap again after their earlier comeback. They stayed about 10 points behind in the last few minutes. Neuhaus scored the last point of the game by a free throw with only five seconds on the clock. This brought the scoreboard to 81-91 with a loss for New Paltz.
Buffalo State may have won, but it was not an easy win. The Hawks fought back at every opportunity. The final score being all the way at 90 points showed just how much of a fight the boys put up.
This Friday, the men’s basketball team is ready to fight for victory again. This time they will be back on home turf at the Hawk Center. This game will be the beginning of a streak of home games, with a game for the next two Fridays and Saturdays. Make sure to come out Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. to cheer them on to victory!