OSWEGO, N.Y. – Sean Michele drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key as the buzzer sounded to give Oswego State (2-1) a 58-55 win over Wells College (0-3) in the final game of the Max Ziel Classic on Saturday at Laker Hall.
Oswego State was in control for much of the second half, but a pair of late turnovers and back-to-back three-pointers by the Express tied the game with 33 seconds left.
The Lakers held the ball for one last shot and eventually worked the ball to Michele at the top of the key and the senior from East Rochester, N.Y. knocked it down to earn Oswego State the co-championship for their host tournament as well as the win in a rematch of the last year’s NCAA Tournament First Round game won by the Lakers.
The first half was plaqued by foul trouble and poor shooting. The two teams started the game a combined 0-for-10 from the floor. Wells eventually pulled in front to a 10-4 lead, but both the Express’ Mabior Mayen and the Lakers’ Chad Burridge (Sr., Hannibal, N.Y.) picked up two fouls in the game’s opening seven minutes and spent much of the half of the bench.
Helping Oswego State recover from the slow start was Hayden Ward (Jr,, Montauk, N.Y.). The junior drilled a three-pointer to start a 10-5 run that tied the game at 18. Ward finished the first half with 11 points and nine rebounds.
However, Oswego State never led in the first half, but Chris Gilkes (Jr., Syracuse, N.Y.) stole an errant pass just before halftime and sank a quick jumper to tie the game at 27 at the break.
Burridge, who was named tournament MVP, came off the bench to score the Lakers’ first six points of the second half, helping the home team take a 33-29 lead.
The Lakers extended that lead to as many as nine with 4:32 left to play, but Wells chipped away. Holding Oswego State to just one point from the 4:27 mark until the final shot, allowed Wells to get back in the game and hit the two treys in the final 70 seconds of action.
It was all for naught those as Michele drilled game-winner on a pass from Gilkes, sending the Laker fans home happy.
Michele finished the game with seven points, five assists and two steals to earn all-tournament honors, while Burridge added 11 points and 4 blocks to garner tournament MVP recognition.
Ward also finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Mayen led Wells with 17 points to earn all-tournament honors. The Lakers shared the tournament championship with Fredonia, who also held off Wells and Ithaca on back-to-back days. Other players named to the all-tournament team included Ithaca’s Andrei Oztemel and Fredonia’s Julius Bryant.
The Lakers continue the homestand when they host SUNY-Cobleskill (0-3) on Tuesday at 7 p.m.