BROOKLYN, N.Y. – On the same day the Oswego State (9-3) men’s basketball team moved to No. 22 in the D3hoops.com national poll, its suffered its second straight loss. Medgar Evers College (9-6) overcame an 11-point first-half deficit and then held off a late Oswego surge to knock off the Lakers, 73-68, to close out the non-conference portion of the schedule.
Oswego State shot 37 percent in the game, but managed to cut the Cougar lead to 69-68 with 1:35 to play, but the home team extended the lead to 71-68 with a lay-up and forced the Lakers to miss their final three field goal attempts to seal the victory.
Oswego State jumped out to the early lead with five different players reaching the scoring column as the lead grew to 25-14 midway through the opening half. Senior Josh Delfino (Newfield, N.Y.), playing in just his second game this season, had four points in the run, while junior Hayden Ward (Montauk, N.Y.) led the way with eight points in the first 10 minutes.
The Cougars began to chip into the lead, though, hitting nine of 10 free throws following their slow start. The one miss during the run also worked in Medgar Evers’ favor as well. Brian Johnson put the miss back in to give the Cougars a 36-35 lead, their first of the game.
After trailing 40-38 at the half, a layup by Chad Burridge (Sr., Hannibal, N.Y.) and a three by Conor Monaghan (Brooklyn, N.Y.) put the Lakers up, 41-40.
Oswego led once more at 49-48, but three more free throws and a three-pointer with 11 minutes left put the Cougars in the lead for good.
The Lakers cut the lead to one with six minutes left, but four straight free throws put the home team back in control and then one more free throw with 35 seconds left extended the lead to 72-68 and sealed the five-point win.
Ward finished with a team-high 18 points and nine rebounds, while Burridge added 12 points and four blocks. Sean Michele (Sr., East Rochester, N.Y.) led the way with seven asissts.
The Cougars hit 24 of 35 free throws in the game, compared to the Lakers’ 16-of-25 shooting. Douglas Winston led the home team with 23 points and 11 rebounds.
The loss coupled with the narrow loss to Division I Texas Pan-American last week marks the first in-season two-game losing streak for the Lakers since Feburary 2010.
The Lakers resume SUNYAC play on Friday with a perfect 5-0 record in league play when they host New Paltz (5-5, 2-2 SUNYAC) at 8 p.m.