ALFRED. NY – The Alfred University men's basketball team improved to 10-2 overall on the year and 3-0 in the Empire 8 with its 92-85 victory over Hartwick College on Saturday afternoon.
The Saxons found themselves in a little trouble early in the first half after Hartwick took a 10-2 lead with just over 16 minutes to play.
After a timeout, AU began to settle down and came back with a run of its own to make it a 10-9 game. Two three's from Scotty Stopera (Scotia, NY/Scotia-Glenville) and Brewster Marshall (Horseheads, NY/Horseheads) brought the game to an even tie at 15. Minutes later AU began a short 6-0 run to go up 26-20 but Hartwick quickly responded to tie the game at 28 with 4:55 left in the half.
Two more long balls from Stopera to close out the half helped put Alfred in the driver's seat and head into the locker room with a 40-34 lead.
The teams traded buckets on multiple occasions to begin the second half but back to back three-point makes for Hartwick's Pat Garey, two of his six deep balls on the day, cut the Hawk deficit and made it a 47-47 game with 15:15 left in the half.
AU then began to slowly chip away at the Hawks and build momentum to gain a 12 point lead. Once the three point shot makes began to slow for Hartwick, they had no choice to extend the game by fouling.
Between the Saxons making their free throws down the stretch and a dagger jumper from Dom LeMorta (Scotia, NY/Scotia-Glenville), Alfred was able to top Hartwick for its third straight Empire 8 victory.
"Fortunate to come out with the win night. We had great balance with 5 guys in double figures, and did a great job of sharing the ball. We have a lot of things we need to clean up and improve on, but we are happy to come out of the week 3-0 in league, Head Coach Russell Phillips said."
The Saxons had five different scorers in double figures on the afternoon. Stopera posted a season high 18 points to lead AU. Brewster chipped in 16 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked two shots. Sage Brown (Cortland, NY/Cortland) scored 15. LeMorta had 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Cole Eells (Ithaca, NY/Ithaca) scored 10 while Sam Dagon (Hornell, NY/Hornell) had nine points.
Alfred will travel to Pittsford, New York next Tuesday for a tough battle with the Golden Flyers of Nazareth College at 7:30PM.