Late Push Sends Lakers To Semis

OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego State men’s basketball team defeated Oneonta 68-59 Tuesday night at Max Ziel Gymnasium in the first round of the SUNYAC Championship.

This is the third time Oswego has taken down the Red Dragons this season.

The win also marked Jason Leone’s 150th career win as a collegiate varsity basketball coach.

After remaining even for the first six minutes of the game, the Lakers made a few subs including Mark Candelario, changing the pace of the contest.

Candelario made an immediate impact underneath, knocking in two lay-ups in quick succession to give Oswego a 15-12 lead.

Walter Sampson would increase the lead even more as he hit two freethrows at the 12:20 mark. Oneonta stormed back though going on an 11-0 run that lasted a little over five minutes.

Candelario would deliver a monster block to break up the run but the momentum would stay on Oneonta’s side for the remainder of the half and the Red Dragons were able to take a 32-26 lead into the locker room.

The second half was all about the three ball for Oswego, as the team shot 50% (5-of-10) throughout the last 20 minutes.

lex Rawa went 3-for-3 from beyond the arc including knocking one in at the 9:25 mark to give Oswego its first lead of the second. From that point on it was back-and-forth, with neither team pulling too far ahead.

With under 1:30 left to go in the game Oswego winded down the clock in its own zone as it was ahead by one point. Dustin Pond then drove to the hoop with time running down on the shot clock and finished a lay-up to push the lead to three.

Pond wasn’t finished as he hustled back on defense and laid down a block on Oneonta’s next possession that basically sealed it.

The Lakers then hit six freethrows down the stretch to officially end the game.

Pond filled up the stat sheet scoring 15 points, hauling in six rebounds and three blocks as well. Brian Sortino paced the Lakers, nabbing 16 points. Mark Candelario finished with a team-high seven rebounds to go along with 13 points.

Oswego shot exceptionally well from the charity stripe, going 20-of-21 in the game.

Men’s basketball will return to the court on at 5:30 on Friday as it heads to Plattsburgh to take on the Geneseo Knights in the semi-finals of the SUNYAC Championship.