Twelve different players scored as the University of Rochester showcased its depth in a 73-64 win over visiting Houghton College on Friday night in the opening round of the UR Chuck Resler Invitational at the Louis Alexander Palestra.
Rochester (2-0), built a big halftime lead, going up by 20 points at intermission, and held on as the Highlanders (0-2) got hot down the stretch, pulling within 10 with under a minute to play in the contest.
UR's Jacob Wittig led the Yellowjackets with 18 points on 7-9 shooting, including 3-4 from behind the arc. Michael Mangan had 8 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists while Ryan Clamage also added eight points, including two triples. Andrew Lundstrom chipped in seven points and eight rebounds.
The Highlanders leading scorer was Dylan Lambert who had a game-high 22 points to go along with eight rebounds. Both Scottie Berghaus and Isander Ramos-Net scored 10 points each for Houghton.
Rochester's big run in the opening half came late as Rochester held Houghton off the board for over six minutes, scoring 18 straight points to go from 19-14 up to 37-14. Houghton went cold during the stretch missing all six attempts from the floor and also committed seven turnovers.
UR meanwhile was 6-11 in that span, with Wittig and Patrick Benka each scoring five points.
Houghton's Lambert finally sank a three with six seconds on the clock to break the scoreless stretch.
In the second half, Rochester's lead got as big as 31 points, going ahead 61-30 following a Kailan Lee 3-pointer and a Steph Peters-Smith layup with 10 minutes left.
The Highlanders refused to quit though, going on a 17-5 run over the next four minutes to chop 12 points off the lead. Lambert had eight in the run while Ramos-Net added six.
After a Peters-Smith free throw and a layup from Brian Amabilino Perez built the lead back to 22, Houghton then got hot from 3-point range, sinking three in a 13-0 burst trimming the lead to nine with 1:14 left, capped by back-to-back Berghaus triples.
Mangan was able to connect on four free throws in the final minute to hold off the charging Highlanders.
Both teams shot 43% from the floor. Rochester held the rebound advantage leading 41-34, including a 14-9 edge on the offensive glass. UR also had a 14-0 lead in fast break points.
Rochester moves on to the Resler Championship game to face Baldwin Wallace University on Saturday at 4 pm. Houghton will play Cabrini University in the 3rd place game at 2 pm.
BW ended up defeating Cabrini University 75-61 in the other semifinal matchup. Michael Quiring and Jay Battle paced the Yellow Jackets with 17 and 15 points respectively. Anthony Wright-Downing led Cabrini with a game-high 18 points while Voshon Mack had 13 points and eight rebounds.