OSWEGO, N.Y. – The top-seeded Oswego State men’s basketball team
hung on to beat No. 3 Oneonta 75-70 in the title game Saturday afternoon in Max Ziel Gymnasium.
Oswego is now 21-6 on the year.
The top-seeded Oswego State men’s basketball team used a hot first half and gritty second to outlast No. 3 Oneonta 75-70 for the 2017 SUNYAC Championship title in Max Ziel Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon. It is the Lakers’ third conference tournament title in the last six years and it earns Oswego its third-consecutive NCAA Championship berth.
Senior Brian Sortino was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, tallying 27 points, five assists and four rebounds in the championship to follow-up a 48-point performance in the semifinal on Friday. Joining their teammate on the All-Tournament team were Ian Schupp and Tyler Pierre. Schupp scored 22 points on Saturday, shooting 4-for-6 from distance and collecting seven boards. The junior last two points were crucial, as he nailed two free-throws to make it a two-possession game at 74-70 with only 13.6 seconds remaining. Pierre was a monster on the glass, gathering 15 rebounds in the title tilt, with nearly half coming on the offensive glass (7).
Rounding out the SUNYAC All-Tournament team were Lawrence Coleman and Mikey McElroy of Oneonta and Lovell Smith of Buffalo State.
In the first half, Oswego shot lights out, going 21-for-42 from the field, 8-for-12 from distance and 3-for-3 from the charity stripe. That effort had the Lakers on top of the Red Dragons 53-38 at halftime, their second-most total in any half this year, trailing only its 60 in a 104-69 win over SUNY Maritime.
Oneonta tried to right the ship early in the second stanza, opening on a 9-0 run to cut Oswego’s advantage to just six. The Lakers responded with a 9-1 run of their own immediately, extending the difference back to double-digits. Oneonta would throw its best blows at Oswego over the final 15 minutes, but the Lakers always countered at just the right time, never surrendering the lead. The Red Dragons was able to decrease the Laker edge to just two with 16 seconds remaining but Schupp’s clutch freebies sealed the victory.
Pierre and Jamir Ferebee combined for 14 points, split evenly. Keith Tyson recorded six points to go along with nine boards while Mykelle Krecko notched four points and eight caroms. Those rebounding efforts – tacked on to Pierre’s outing – helped Oswego own the boards 50-39.
Oswego – now 21-6 overall on the year – awaits the NCAA’s selection at 12:30 p.m. on Monday to find out where and who it will play next.