Laker men’s basketball team moves on in tourney play

OSWEGO, N.Y. – Five players on the Oswego State men’s basketball team (19-7) reached double figures, as the Lakers bested Brockport (15-11) in the second half en route to a 78-66 win in a State University of New York Athletic Conference Tournament Play-In game on Tuesday night in Max Ziel Gymnasium.

The Lakers advanced to play host Cortland in a SUNYAC Semifinal on Friday night at 8 p.m. Hayden Ward (Sr., Montauk, N.Y.) led the Laker charge with 16 points and 16 rebounds, while freshman Kyle Covley (Penfield, N.Y.) also netted 16 points off the bench in his playoff premiere.

Brockport stormed out of the gates with quality defense and smart offensive possessions. Derek Klein pulled up for three, but found a streaking John Ivy under the basket for an easy layup to gain an 8-3 lead and force an Oswego State timeout.

The two teams battled back and forth, with no squad pushing the lead past five points. Chris Gilkes (Sr., Syracuse, N.Y.) paced the Laker attack in the opening stanza, making all four of his attempts from the field for eight points. With just over two minutes left in the half, Daniel Ross (Jr., Syracuse, N.Y.) hit his second three-pointer of the half on as many tries to give Oswego State a five-point lead.

Brockport’s Lance Legister tied the game up at 34 with under 10 seconds left on a deep three-pointer, sending the two teams into halftime in a dead heat.

Early in the second half, Oswego State went on an 11-3 run to break a 42-42 tie powered by four Gilkes points and a Covley three-pointer. During the stretch, Brockport’s John Ivy committed his third personal foul and went to the bench.

The Lakers never surrendered their lead after that.

Mike Gallagher scored back-to-back buckets to force another Laker timeout, with the lead whittled down to 55-51. Gallagher finished the game with 12 points off the bench for the Golden Eagles. After the timeout, the Lakers held the Golden Eagles scoreless for almost four minutes, while scoring seven points of their own, including an acrobatic layup by Sean Michele (Sr., East Rochester, N.Y.).

Ivy broke the streak with his first three-pointer of the game, but it was a pair of Covley baskets from beyond the arc that were the icing on the cake for the Lakers. One came as the shot clock expired, and the other came off an offensive rebound from well behind the arc.

The Golden Eagles continued to battle, as Ivy tallied eight points in just over a minute, but the Lakers were able to break the Brockport press and keep scoring key baskets. The Golden Eagles were unable to cut the Laker lead to less than 10 points, and Oswego State clinched the win by making 13-of-16 free throws in the second half.

Ivy led the Golden Eagles with 15 points, with Jordan Major tallying 14 points of his own. Gilkes hit 7-of-8 shots, scoring 14 points, while Michele and Ross chipped in 13 and 12 points, respectively.