OSWEGO N.Y. – For the first 12 minutes of the game, the 16th-ranked Oswego State men’s basketball team’s perfect conference mark was in serious jeopardy against Geneseo, but the offense came alive just before half and the Lakers (20-3, 16-0 SUNYAC) battled their way to a 67-56 win over the Blue Knights (11-12, 9-7).
Geneseo took an early 6-0 lead and pushed the advantage to 16-6 in the game’s opening 12 minutes. The Lakers were 2-of-14 from the floor with eight turnovers during that span.
Hayden Ward (Jr., Montauk, N.Y.) added another three 30 seconds later to give the Lakers their first lead of the game and Chad Burridge (Sr., Hannibal, N.Y.) finished a wild layup to end the half with Oswego State up 24-21.
The opening minutes of the second half were dominated offensively by the reigning SUNYAC Player of the Week. Ward scored 14 of Oswego State’s first 18 points in the half, including a pair of three-pointers that extended the lead to 42-32 midway through the half.
Geneseo refused to give in, though, cutting the lead to 56-50 with five minutes left in the contest. However, a three-pointer by Conor Monaghan (Sr., Brooklyn, N.Y.) put the Lakers back in control and Chris Gilkes (Jr., Syracuse, N.Y.) scored the Lakers’ final six points to round out the win.
Oswego State shot just barely over 50 percent, but held the Knights to 41 percent and just 4-of-19 on three-pointers to keep its 30-game conference winning streak intact.
Ward finished with yet another double-double this season thanks to 24 points and 12 rebounds, all on the defensive end. Meanwhile, Gilkes and Monaghan added 10 points each. Sean Michele (Sr., East Rochester, N.Y.) added six assists, three steals and seven points.
The Knights were led by Gordon Lyons with 16 points.
The Lakers finish out the regular season this weekend with home games against Buffalo State and Fredonia on Friday and Saturday, respectively, and will be home again on Feb. 21 to open the SUNYAC tournament.