The No. 22 St. John Fisher College men's basketball team defeated SUNY Polytechnic Institute 96-73 in its season opener at Manning & Napier Varsity Gym.
Fisher (1-0) went 34-of-58 (58.6%) from the field as a team and had three different players score 20 points on its way to the 23-point victory over SUNY Poly (0-1).
The Cardinals and Wildcats went back-and-forth early in the first half as six lead changes and four ties in lead to a 17-17 game with 11:20 remaining in the half. That was when Keegan Ryan found Zach Ottaway for a 3-pointer, igniting a 17-4 run by Fisher that gave them a 34-21 lead with just over six minutes left before halftime.
SUNY Poly battled back towards the end of the first half by outscoring the Cardinals 14-9 in the final six minutes to make it a 43-35 game in favor of Fisher at intermission.
Behind two consecutive made 3-pointers by Tyler Hart, the Cardinals opened up the second half on an 8-0 run to make it a 51-35 game less than two minutes in. Hart finished the game shooting 3-for-5 from the three-point line in addition to tying for a team-high 20 points.
Fisher eventually built its lead up as high as 29 points with 3:29 left in the contest after Ottaway converted on a layup off of a Chaz Lott pass, giving Fisher the 91-62 lead.
After sinking three-of-four free throws in the final three minutes, the Cardinals went on to cruise to the 96-73 win.
Alex Sausville had a career-day for Fisher as the sophomore came away with team-highs in points (20) and rebounds (eight), both personal bests as well.
Ryan also had 20 points against the Wildcats to go along with seven rebounds and two blocks.
Also instrumental for the Cardinals was Chaz Lott who dished out a team-high seven assists, while scoring 17 points on 8-for-11 shooting from the field.
Fisher returns to the court at 2 p.m. on Friday as the Cardinals take on DeSales University in its first contest at the Hoopsville National Invitational Classic hosted by Stevenson University in Maryland.