Bench Contributions Help Oswego State Defeat Cortland 69-53

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Chris Gilkes and Conor Monaghan combined to score 27 points off the bench as the Oswego State men's basketball team defeated Cortland, 69-53, Friday night at Max Ziel Gymnasium.  The Laker supporting cast outscored the Red Dragon bench, 35-12, en route to the win that moved Oswego State to 16-3 on the season and 12-1 in the SUNYAC standings.  Cortland dropped to 6-13 and 3-9 in the league with the loss.

Both offenses struggled to generate any rhythm early in the first half as the score was knotted at 9-9 midway through the stanza until a putback by Gilkes triggered a 13-0 stretch for the Lakers over the next four minutes.  Oswego State maintained a double-digit lead throughout the half before Harrison Hefele hit three of his 12 points in the final minute, as the Lakers carried a 30-21 halftime advantage.

The Red Dragons chipped away at the deficit, pulling to within seven points with 13 minutes to play before Oswego State recorded 11 unanswered points for its largest lead of the game, 47-29, at the midway point of the half.  Cortland responded with an 11-2 stretch of its own to make it a single-point lead again, but the Red Dragons would not get any closer the rest of the way. 

The Lakers shot 50 percent from the field (28-of-56), while limiting Cortland to 35.1 percent (20-of-57). In addition to owning an advantage in bench scoring, Oswego State also outscored the Red Dragons in the paint, 34-18, and held a 39-29 advantage on the boards.

The Lakers will play their next three games on the road starting on Monday with a non-conference tilt at SUNY Cobleskill for a 7 p.m. start.