The Men’s basketball team opened up their season with a 58-55 overtime loss to Hamilton College on Saturday, Nov. 15 in a non-conference game. On Tuesday, the Hawks were defeated by Vassar College 70-61.
Hamilton College went on an 8-1 scoring run towards the end of the first half and possessed a 37-28 lead through halftime. Hamilton College fourth-year guard Joseph Lin attempted a jump shot and missed with the game clock winding down, sending the game into a five-minute overtime period. The overtime period began with a bucket by the Continentals to put the Hawks down 55-53.
The Hawks forced the Continentals into a turnover on their next possession and were unable to hit the tying bucket. Hamilton made 1-of-2 foul shots on its next possession, and New Paltz could not knock down the tying 3-pointer. The Continentals came away with the win.
Sowah led the Hawks with a double-double, scoring 13 points while adding a career-high 14 rebounds. Perlman provided scoring off the bench with a game-high 17 points off 7-of-10 shooting from the floor and 2-of-4 shooting from the line in 26 minutes of play.
Head Coach Mike Rejniak said the defense has been key so far early in the season.
“Defensively, right now we’re pretty darn good,” he said. “It’s offensively, it seems like there’s a lid on the rim. Defensively, the effort has been there the entire time.”
In the Vassar game on Tuesday, the Hawks put four points up on the board after half time, but could not come within seven points for the remainder of the second half and took the loss.
Sowah recorded his second consecutive double-double to begin the season. He scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. Perlman scored 15 points coming off the bench. First-year guard Malik Seelal added 14 points off the bench as well. The Hawks had a 45-38 edge in rebounds. However, the Brewers scored 12 points off of 17 total Hawk turnovers. The Brewers also drained eight three pointers throughout the contest.
Rejniak said the team has size this year, something they did not have last season. The team still needs to improve upon their guards taking care of the ball and executing offensively, he said.
“Right now I think offensively we’re
playing a little bit tighter than I would like. Other than that, I couldn’t be more happy with the defense. I think rebounding has improved. I think offensively, we just need to execute better and just shoot with confidence.”
After a 6-19 record last season, the team wants to redeem themselves, Perlman said.
“It’s a feeling I don’t ever want to experience again,” he said. “We use last season as motivation to do whatever it takes to accomplish what we have always failed to do.”
To prepare for upcoming games, the team is going to look at the defense and then primarily focus the next couple of days on the offensive execution and getting everybody on the same page, Rejniak said.
The Hawks have a record of 0-2 and next take on Utica College in the first game of the University of Rochester’s Chuck Resler Tournament on Friday, Nov. 21, at 1 p.m.