The Men’s basketball team opened up their season with a 70-68 victory over Vassar College on Friday, Nov. 13.
This was the Hawks’ first win over the Brewers since their 74-58 win back on Nov. 27, 2012.
“Opening up with a home win against Vassar was huge,” Hawks fourth-year co-Captain Keegan Donovan said. “We had an amazing crowd and hopefully we’ll draw a lot more fans after such an exciting home opener.”
Hawks fourth-year co-Captain R.J. Rosa led New Paltz with 27 points and seven rebounds. Third-year forward Brandon Guest was right behind Rosa with 10 points and six rebounds in his first game as a Hawk. Donovan tallied a game-high six assists and Hawks third-year center Taylor Mulvey notched two blocks.
Vassar held an 11-point lead with 1:53 remaining in the first half. New Paltz trimmed it down to a six-point lead entering halftime, highlighted by a tip-in in the paint by third-year forward Andrew Seniuk with one second remaining in the first half.
The Brewers again led by 11 points at the 16:15 mark in the second half, but the Hawks then scored seven unanswered points highlighted by a dunk by Guest to make it a 53-49 Brewers lead. Guest would then give the Hawks a 56-55 lead with a layup at the 12:29 mark.
Brewers fourth-year Captain Erikson Wasyl tallied a three-pointer at the 0:57 mark to make it a 70-68 Hawks lead. With less than 40 seconds left in the match, Vassar regained possession of the ball and Erikson missed a three-pointer at the 0:23 mark. Brewers second-year guard Jesse Browne missed a layup with seven seconds left after Rosa swatted the ball away. Erikson would then miss a layup with only four seconds remaining on the clock. Vassar was then charged with a technical foul with only two seconds left to play. After a missed Hawks free throw, the Brewers got the ball back but were unable to score as an attempt saw the ball clang off the neck of the rim, giving the Hawks the win.
“It was crazy,” Hawks Head Coach Mike Rejniak said. “A lot of the situations that happened, you’ll only see them once in a season. We were very fortunate to come out ahead in the end.”
On Tuesday, Nov. 17 the Hawks were defeated on the road against Mount Saint Mary College by a score of 70-63.
The Hawks held a 34-32 lead over the Knights going into the second half. Mount Saint Mary built up an eight point lead during the second half, but New Paltz came back to tie the game at 53-53 thanks to a layup by Rosa at the 9:57 mark. Guest would briefly put the Hawks ahead with a free-throw, but the Knights retook the lead and pulled away for the victory.
Donovan led the Hawks with 13 points. Guest and Seniuk were right behind him with 10 points each. Guest also notched eight rebounds in the match while Perlman tallied six. Rosa led New Paltz with five assists.
“We’re not consistent yet,” Rejniak said. “I think we have to tighten up our defense, we have to get back to who we are. Offensively we were just not as crisp as we needed to be. We had too many turnovers and we gave up too many offensive rebounds. That is a point of emphasis we are going to be looking to solve for the weekend.”
The Hawks will next travel to Williamstown, Massachusetts with a 1-1 record to compete in the Williams Tournament from Friday, Nov. 20 to Saturday, Nov. 21.