POTSDAM , N.Y. – Four veteran players scored in double digits to lead the Oswego State men’s basketball team (18-6, 11-6 SUNYAC) past host Potsdam (9-15, 5-12 SUNYAC), 76-65, on Friday night. With the win, the Lakers will host a play-in game for the State University of New York Athletic Conference Playoffs on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
The Lakers are tied for the No. 3 spot in the conference standings with Geneseo, and the first two spots have been decided with Plattsburgh ousting Cortland on Friday night. Because Geneseo holds the tiebreaker with Oswego State, the Lakers need to beat Plattsburgh on Saturday and the Blue Knights must lose to Buffalo State.
Hayden Ward (Sr., Montauk, N.Y.) once again led the Laker charge, turning in another double-double with 21 points and 12 boards. Fellow senior Sean Michele (East Rochester, N.Y.) had his best night of the season from downtown, scoring 16 points and hitting all four of his tries from three-point range.
In fact, 24 of Oswego State’s 38 first-half points came from beyond the arc. The Lakers made 8-of-16 attempts from three-point land in the stanza, and took a 38-25 lead into the break.
The lead remained about the same during the first half of the second period, but Potsdam made a charge late. A Zac Adams jumper whittled Oswego State’s lead down to eight with 9:27 remaining in the game. Michele responded with a three to quell the comeback.
However, Curtis Pierce hit two free throws to lower the lead back to eight with 5:47 left. This time, it was Alex Mirabito (Sr., Oneonta, N.Y.) who responded with a trey on the next possession. The Laker lead never dropped below 10 points again, as Oswego State earned the victory.
Mirabito had 14 points in the game, while Chris Gilkes (Sr., Syracuse, N.Y.) tallied 12 points of his own. Pierce led the Bears with 18 points.
The Lakers look to do their part in earning the No. 3 seed Saturday at 4 p.m., as they travel to face Plattsburgh. The Cardinals edged the Lakers by two points earlier this season.