New Paltz Men’s Basketball Knocks Off SUNYAC-Leading Oswego, 80-71, in Overtime

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NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – The State University of New York at New Paltz men's basketball team weathered a 13-5 run by SUNY Oswego late in the second half of a State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) game Friday night at the Hawk Center and bounced back by outscoring the Lakers, 14-5, in overtime to pull out an 80-71 victory.
Oswego cut a five-point Hawk lead to two after freshman guard Ian Schupp drained a trey with 32 seconds to go in regulation, and after getting the ball back one last time with that two-point deficit, the Lakers' sophomore guard Brian Sortino got fouled in the act of shooting a 3-pointer.
In front of a loud and raucous crowd, filled largely with New Paltz students, Sortino's first foul shot clanged off the rim, but his final two went through the cylinder to knot the score at 66-all. New Paltz got a 3-point look at the buzzer but was unable to capitalize, sending the game into overtime.
After each team scored a basket, New Paltz broke open a seven-point lead with 1:23 remaining in the extra session after junior guard Keegan Donovan (Groton, N.Y./Groton) knocked down a pair of free throws. Schupp trimmed the edge to four with a corner three, but the Hawks scored the final five points of the contest, punctuated by a thunderous dunk by senior guard/forward Taylor Sowah (Bronx, N.Y./Miller Place) with six seconds left.
New Paltz rises to 8-8 overall and 6-3 in SUNYAC play with the win, moving into third place in the conference standings. The Hawks look to add one more to the win column, as they begin their second round of SUNYAC play tomorrow at 2 p.m. against SUNY Cortland. Oswego drops to 11-5 overall (7-2 SUNYAC) with the loss and now is just a half game up on SUNY Plattsburgh for the conference lead. The Lakers look to bounce back tomorrow at 2 p.m. at SUNY Oneonta.
Back-and-forth play defined most of the first half, though New Paltz did take a period-best six-point lead after senior guard/forward R.J. Rosa (North Branch, N.Y./Sullivan West) drilled a 3-pointer with 13:56 to go before halftime. After Oswego had taken over the momentum and the lead, New Paltz closed the half on a 6-0 run, and a layup by sophomore center Taylor Mulvey (Rotterdam, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy) with 18 seconds left on the clock gave the Hawks a 30-27 halftime advantage.
New Paltz led by as many as nine points in the second half, with the high-water mark coming off a Mulvey layup with 6:10 left in the stanza. The Lakers never once held the lead in the second half, but they did manage to tie the score twice.
The Hawks dominated the glass, outgaining the Lakers, 49-36, in rebounds. Eighteen New Paltz offensive rebounds led to 20 points, and the Hawks scored almost half of their points (38) in the paint. New Paltz shot 43.9 percent (29-of-66) from the floor on the game and continued to cause fits for opposing defenses, holding Oswego to 37.9 percent shooting (25-of-66) from the field.
Rosa stuffed the stat sheet with a team-high 21 points, seven rebounds, five steals, two assists and one block, while junior forward Kevin Roach (Levittown, N.Y./MacArthur) and Sowah added 14 and 11 points, respectively. Donovan came off the bench and posted 10 points, which included a 4-of-4 outing at the line. Sowah tallied his seventh double-double of the season with 12 rebounds, and he also chipped in with six assists.
Oswego's junior guard Kyle Covley helped spur its comeback bid, netting a game-high 24 points, 21 of which came in the second half. Senior forward Rashawn Powell tallied a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds, while Schupp drained 16 points coming off the bench. Sortino came just short of a double-double with eight points and seven assists.