OSWEGO, N.Y. – The 18th-ranked Lakers (1-1) picked up their first win of the season when a last-second three-pointer by Ithaca (1-1) bounced off the rim for a 74-71 Oswego State win during the first day of the Max Ziel Men’s Basketball Classic at Laker Hall.
Oswego State led for the final 11:37 of the game, but never by more than eight points to earn the win in a battle of 2011 NCAA Tournament teams.
A balanced Laker attack had four players in double-figures led by Chad Burridge’s 23 points, but it was Ithaca’s 36 points in the paint and 8-of-23 three-point shooting that kept the game close.
A dunk by Burridge (Sr., Hannibal, N.Y.) in traffic gave the Lakers a 46-45 lead early in the second half, but Ithaca recovered to tie the game at 53.
Alex Mirabito (Jr., Oneonta, N.Y.) broke that tie with a free throw and then added an assist on a Burridge three-pointer as the Lakers finally pulled away for good.
Still clinging to a narrow lead late, Oswego State’s Sean Michele (Sr., East Rochester, N.Y.) hit a pair of free throws with 29 seconds left for a 73-69 lead.
However, the Bombers scored a quick lay-up and nearly forced a 10-second violation to get the ball back. The Lakers finally got the ball over midcourt and forced Ithaca to foul Michele.
The senior hit the first free throw, but missed the second, allowing Ithaca to grab the rebound and call timeout with 3.9 seconds left.
The Lakers prevented Ithaca from getting the ball to their leading scorer, Frank Mitchell. Instead, Sean Rossi had to take a running three-pointer that bounced off the rim, earning Oswego State the 74-71 win.
Burridge led the Lakers with 23 points, while Chris Gilkes (Jr. Syracuse, N.Y.) added 15, with Michele’s 14 and Hayden Ward’s (Jr., Montauk, N.Y.) 11 following. Mitchell led the Bombers with 25 points, while Andrei Oztemel added 14 points and 13 rebounds.
The Lakers host Wells College (0-2) at 6 p.m. to close out the second day of the Max Ziel Classic.