OSWEGO, N.Y. – With five seniors taking the floor, the Oswego State men’s basketball team left little doubt who the better team was in a 75-44 win over Fredonia on Senior Day at Max Ziel Gymnasium on Saturday.
The Lakers (22-3, 18-0 SUNYAC) capped off the school’s first-ever perfect SUNYAC regular-season record with the win and hold the top seed in the post-season tournament that begins on Tuesday.
Oswego State used a 16-0 first-half run to turn a 18-9 lead into a 34-9 advantage and it never looked back en route to the victory over Fredonia (13-11, 8-9).
The Lakers took control early with a balanced offensive attack. Eight players scored in the opening 20 minutes led by Hayden Ward’s (Jr., Montauk, N.Y.) ten points.
The big 16-0 run was highlighted by three-pointers by seniors Ryan Sheridan (Blauvelt, N.Y.) and Sean Michele (East Rochester, N.Y.) and then Alex Mirabito (Jr., West Oneonta, N.Y.). Senior Chad Burridge (Hannibal, N.Y.) also had five straight points in the run.
After shooting 58 percent in the first half, the Lakers led 39-16 as they headed into the locker room.
Not much changed in the second half as Oswego State continued to pull away. Chris Gilkes (Jr., Syracuse, N.Y.) tallied eight straight points during one run and scored all 14 of his game-high points in the second half.
The Lakers’ lead hit its largest point at 69-33 with 4:30 left to play before Fredonia tightened the gap to 75-44 before the final buzzer.
Along with Gilkes, Ward also finished with 14 points, while Sheridan led the team with five assists. Three players grabbed five rebounds to pace the Lakers inside. Damien Goodwin led the Blue Devils with 10 points.
Prior to the game, the Lakers honored seniors Conor Monaghan (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Brian Gebhardt (Fairport, N.Y.), Josh Delfino (Newfield, N..Y.), Sheridan, Michele and Burridge.
The Lakers finish the season with 32 straight conference victories, just three back of Division III-leading Becker’s 35.
Oswego State is now three wins away from its first SUNYAC title since 1964-65. The Lakers host New Paltz on Tuesday at 7 p.m. to open the SUNYAC playoffs. With a victory, the Lakers will host both semifinal games on Friday and the finals on Saturday at Max Ziel Gymnasium.