Men’s Basketball Remains Hopeful

Photo by Holly Lipka.

The Men’s basketball team lost two out of three home games against SUNYAC opponents and are now tied for the eighth seed in the conference standings.

The team first defeated SUNY Oswego on Friday, Jan. 30 by a score of 80-71 in overtime. Oswego currently stands at the top of the SUNYAC conference, in a tie with SUNY Plattsburgh.

“They are at the top of the league and the way the league is playing out this year and the fact that we’re all bunched together, it will come into play once those tiebreakers come into play,” Head Coach Mike Rejniak said. “Obviously right now we’re two games out of first, so it’s big. It was big to close the gap.”

Fourth-year co-Captain R.J. Rosa led the team with 21 points. Other standouts included third-year co-Captain Kevin Roach with 14 points and fourth-year co-Captain Taylor Sowah with 11 points. Third-year guard Keegan Donovan scored 10 points off the bench for the Hawks.

The Hawks were up by one point in the second half with two seconds remaining on the clock before Oswego second-year guard Brian Sortino tied the game up on a free throw, sending the game into overtime.

The Hawks never let the Oswego Lakers hold a lead in overtime play, as they outscored them 14-5. After Oswego tied the game at 68 apiece with 3:44 left in overtime, Rosa scored a three-pointer, Sowah netted a layup and Donovan scored two free throws to give the Hawks a seven-point lead with 1:23 remaining on the clock.

The following day, the Hawks lost to SUNY Cortland by a score of 57-48.

The Hawks shot just 29.2 percent (19-of-65) from the floor. Despite the tough loss, Rejniak looked at the positives that his team displayed against Cortland.

“The defense was very good, and we didn’t play our best basketball so the fact that we were still in the game at the end was a positive,” he said. “Defensively we were great, offensively not so great.”

Sowah led the team in points with 11 and Rosa was right behind him with 10. This was Sowah’s eighth double-double of the season. At halftime, the Hawks led by a score of 23-17, but were outscored 40-25 in the second half.

Rosa gave the Hawks a two-point lead with 2:32 left on the clock. Cortland third-year guard Blair Estarfaa tied the game with two free throws and the Red Dragons did not let the Hawks lead for the rest of the game.

Then on Tuesday, Feb. 3 the Hawks fell to SUNY Oneonta by a score of 98-72. The team lost to Oneonta earlier in the season last month, and they lost on Thursday, Jan. 15 by a score of 84-63.

“Oneonta for whatever reason this year has had our number,” Rejniak said. “They are a very talented senior-laden team. They’re fighting to get up the ladder, we just didn’t showcase our best game by any stretch of the imagination.”

Sowah again lead the team in points with 14 and second-year center Taylor Mulvey was just behind him with 12 points off the bench. Oneonta never trailed in the game and had a shooting percentage of 50.8 (31-of-61) from the floor. The loss dropped the team’s record to 8-10 overall and 6-5 record in conference play.

The team will finish off their homestand this weekend, as they will face SUNY Potsdam, whom they beat earlier this season, on Friday, Feb. 6 at 5:30 p.m. The Hawks will then face SUNY Plattsburgh on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. The Hawks lost to the Plattsburgh Cardinals earlier this season by a score of 81-69 on Friday, Dec. 5 in their first SUNYAC matchup of the season.