Fisher Downs Stevens, Advances to E8 Final

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Top-seeded St. John Fisher College took the first step in successfully-defending it league title, as the Cardinals cruised to an 85-62 win over No. 4 Stevens Institute of Technology on Friday in the Empire 8 Conference Men's Basketball Championship at Fisher's Bobby Wanzer Court.
With the win, Fisher advances to Saturday's title game and will host either Nazareth College or Hartwick College at 4 p.m. The winner of Saturday's championship game will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship.
The victory marks Fisher's 28th straight win at home. The Cardinals (21-5), currently receiving votes in the national poll and ranked No. 4 in the NCAA Division III East Region, are now 14-4 all-time in Empire 8 Championship action and 9-1 in Empire 8 semifinal matchups.
Stevens finishes with a 12-14 overall record.
Fisher committed just one turnover in the first half and led 45-32 at the break.
It was back-and-forth early on as Stevens took a 13-11 lead with 13:40 left in the first half on a floater from Evan Klimchak. Fisher would go on to take the lead for good, going on 7-0 run over the next two minutes with four straight points from Keegan Ryan and a 3-pointer from Ryan Henderson.
After a layup from Tyler Hart, Alex Sausville would score nine straight points for the Cardinals, giving his team a 29-20 lead with just under seven minutes left in the first half.
Fisher would push its lead to as many as 16 points at 40-24 on a 3-pointer from Tyler English, who scored nine straight late in the half.
Fisher kept the momentum going in the second half. Zach Ottaway drained a 3-pointer on the opening possession, while Ryan and English scored layups on the ensuing possession to put Fisher up 20 (52-32) less than two minutes into the final period.
Stevens cut the lead down to 15 points with 13:08 left, but Fisher answered with a 9-0 run, capped by 3-pointer from Henderson, who finished with 10 points, to put the Cardinals up by 24.
Ryan tallied his 30th career double-double and his 14th of the year, posting 23 points and 10 boards.
Sausville scored 14 of his 22 points in the first half, while Hart and English each finished with 11. Hart also added five assists, while English added eight boards and two blocked shots.
Freshman Daniel Morales set new career-highs with nine rebounds and five assists, while classmate Jake Haight grabbed a career-high nine rebounds, while scoring five points.