ROCHESTER, NY – The Oswego State men’s basketball team held off host University of Rochester 55-54 to win the Holiday Inn Airport Thanksgiving Invitational on Sunday afternoon in the Louis Alexander Palestra. Oswego remains unbeaten on the year at a perfect 6-0 while the Yellowjackets fall to 4-2 on the season.
At the conclusion of the contest, Brian Sortino and Walter Sampson were named to the All-Tournament Team, with Sampson garnering Most Valuable Player honors.
Oswego withstood Rochester’s best punches throughout the second half, weathering three tie-game situations but never letting the Yellowjackets gain an edge.
After a clean look at a 3-pointer for Sortino that fell just off the side of the rim, Rochester grabbed a rebound and called timeout with 11 seconds remaining in the tilt.
The Lakers defended the Yellowjackets’ attempt at the victory, as Sortino and Sampson worked to force Sam Borst-Smith into an unbalanced trey that missed to the right as the buzzer sounded.
In the first half, Oswego answered a quick 5-0 spurt by the Yellowjackets with a 14-2 run of its own. That span gained the Lakers control for the opening period and a 23-14 lead at the time. Oswego owned an advantage for the rest of the period, extending its lead to as many as 12.
Sampson finished with 16 points on Sunday, the only Laker in double figures, to go along with four assists. Sortino and senior Kyle Covley each scored nine points while Sortino added a game-high five steals.
On the boards, Keith Tyson and Covley tied for a game-high seven rebounds, with four of Tyson’s coming on the offensive glass. The junior also hit two key baseline jumpers in the final six minutes to keep Rochester out of reach.
Oswego will open SUNYAC play for its next game, facing the host Blue Devils of Fredonia at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.