Blocks, Steals, and Defense Carry UR Past St. John Fisher

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PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Rochester's men did a sound job defensively and that sparked the team to a 77-66 victory over St. John Fisher College in the Mark's Pizzeria Crosstown Shootout at Nazareth on Friday evening.


The Yellowjackets ran their overall record to 7-0 while Fisher slipped to 3-2. UR produced 10 steals on 20 Fisher turnovers and scored 17 points. Sam Borst-Smith had five blocks, Jacob Wittig had three, Ryan Clamage and Patrick Benka one apiece.


Zack Ayers blocked four shots and handed out five assists to accompany his 11 points and five rebounds. Tucker Knox, Borst-Smith, and Andrew Lundstrom each had a block.


The interior Yellowjacket defense made it challenging for Fisher post man Keegan Ryan. He finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, but only got off seven shots from the floor. He hit six of nine at the stripe.


Tyler English led Fisher with 16 points. Dennis Hare and Ryan scored 12 apiece. The Cardinals shot 46% from the floor for the game, sinking similar numbers in each half.


Borst-Smith led Rochester with 22 points. Mack Montague tallied 19, including five three-pointers. Ayers had 11. Tucker Knox scored eight as did Michael Mangan. Wittig had five points and three assists to go along with the three steals.


Rochester used a 16-2 run midway through the first half to take a 21-11 lead. Montague hit two three-pointers and Wittig had one. Borst-Smith made back to back layups to get it started and Mangan followed with a conventional three-point play after making a layup.


UR's shooting turned cold later in the half – the team went six minutes without a field goal. Fisher, which trailed, 29-15 after two Montague free throws, went on a 14-2 spree to pull within 31-25 on a short jumper by Jake Hicks just outside the lane. It was narrowed to five points three more times. In the last minute of the period, Montague made two free throws and Borst-Smith sank one for a 40-32 edge at halftime.


Four players contributed to a 15-5 burst early in the second half that stretched the advantage to 55-37. Ayres scored five points, Borst-Smith tallied four, while Knox and Montague knocked down three-pointers.


On Saturday, Rochester will play Nazareth at 8 pm at Nazareth. Fisher will take on RIT at 6 pm.