New Paltz Men's Basketball's Comeback Falls Short in 85-84 Loss to Salem State

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – The State University of New York at New Paltz men's basketball team erased a 19-point first-half deficit against Salem State University and led by as many as five in the second half, but the Hawks ended up falling to the Vikings, 85-84, in the Williams Invitational consolation game on Saturday afternoon at Williams College.
Junior forward Brandon Guest (Washingtonville, N.Y./Washingtonville) and senior guard/forward R.J. Rosa (North Branch, N.Y./Sullivan West) each drained a team-high 24 points for the Hawks, with Guest shooting 8-of-8 from the floor. Junior forward Andrew Seniuk (Wantagh, N.Y./MacArthur) also reached double figures, scoring 13 points. Defensively, Rosa came away with at least three steals for the third time in as many games.
Sophomore guard Shaquan Murray led four double-digit scorers for Salem State with 26 points, while junior forward Marcus Faison, freshman guard/forward Ryan Cloutier and freshman guard Zach Hurynowicz scored 14, 14 and 13 points, respectively. Faison completed a double-double by also grabbing 11 rebounds.
New Paltz falls to 1-3 overall with the loss and will look to get back in the win column on Tuesday, Nov. 24, as it hosts Middlebury College at 7 p.m. Salem State rises to 2-2 with the win and next faces Gordon College in its home opener on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Salem State led big early, earning a pair of 19-point advantages midway through the first half. The Hawks countered by going on a 16-4 run, however, and Guest drew New Paltz within seven at 39-32 with a made free throw 3:24 before halftime. The Vikings closed the half on a 10-4 run and ended up taking a 49-36 lead into the locker rooms.
New Paltz began the second half with a 14-4 scoring spree, and back-to-back layups by senior forward/center Alex Perlman (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Lakeland) and Seniuk made it a three-point game at 53-50. While Salem State pushed its lead back out to seven, a 12-0 Hawk surge staked New Paltz to a five-point edge (62-57) with 11:56 to go in regulation. That ended up being the high-water mark for the Hawks, as the Vikings closed out the game on a 28-22 run, though New Paltz had two opportunities to either win the game or send it into overtime in the final 14 seconds of regulation.
New Paltz torched the nets, shooting 51.7 percent (31-of-60) from the floor, including a 38.9 percent (7-of-18) mark from beyond the arc. Salem State finished with a 41-38 edge in rebounds, but the Hawks held the Vikings to just 10 percent (1-of-10) shooting from 3-point range in the second half, which helped them stay in the game.