ALFRED, NY – The Alfred University men's basketball team rolled through the Gators of The Sage Colleges on Saturday afternoon. The Saxons (17-4, 10-2 Empire 8) dominated the entire game on their way to the 101-66 win.
Prior to the game, Dom LeMorta (Scotia, NY/Scotia-Glenville), Scotty Stopera (Scotia, NY/Scotia-Glenville), Pat McLamore Jr (Greensboro, NC/Aquinas Institue) and Sage Brown (Cortland, NY/Cortland) were honored for senior day with their families and the AU coaching staff. Once the game began, the four of them did not disappoint.
The Gators were first on the scoreboard with a short jumper in the paint but it did not take long for the AU to kick it in gear and go on a 14-2 run thanks to a couple of early threes from LeMorta.
A few buckets from Sage cut the lead to eight before Brown nailed a triple followed by LeMorta hitting his third long ball of the game to extend the Saxon lead to 14 points.
By the 10:54 mark of the first half Alfred held a 31-13 lead after yet another LeMorta three.
A few minutes later, McLamore Jr. got in on the action with a three-pointer making it 42-22 with 6:59 to play in the first half.
At the end of the first half, Alfred led sage 54-22.
The Saxons did not let up in the second half and continued their hot shooting throughout the rest of the contest. Stopera hit multiple threes in the second half and dished out some perfect passes to set up LeMorta his teammates as well.
LeMorta continued his efficient play in the second half with three more buckets and two assists. Sam Dagon (Hornell, NY/Hornell) began to heat up in the second half when he was set up perfectly by Stopera for a corner three to put the Saxons up by 32.
A Dagon free throw at the 4:51 mark put gave AU its largest lead of the game of 35 points and made the score 97-59.
Anthony Ruffino (North Tonawanda, NY/Niagara Wheatfield) hit a late jumper to break 100 points for the Saxons. This was the second game of the week that Alfred has reached the 100 point mark after scoring 103 against St. John Fisher College on Tuesday.
At the end of the day, the seniors were able to celebrate the 101-66 victory over the Gators and the seventh straight win of the season for the Saxons.
The Saxons have now clinched a spot in the Empire 8 playoffs and have a chance to host if things fall their way over the next week and a half.
"It was a big week for us, going 3-0, kind of accomplishing our first goal of making the E8 playoffs and we put ourselves in a spot where we control our own destiny," Head Coach Russell Phillips said. "Hosting it here in front of these fans would be great! We have to take everything one day at a time as we have Elmira coming in and knowing that they're hungry and knowing that it is a really big game."
LeMorta led the scoring for the Saxons with a season high 25 points, including six made threes. He also dished out a career high seven assists and forced two steals. Brown was the second Saxon to score over 20 on the day, finishing with 22 points, four rebounds and four assists. Cole Eells (Ithaca, NY/Ithaca) scored 13 on the day. Dagon finished with 11 points and three assists while Elliot Bowen (Salamanca, NY/Ellicottville) was the fifth Saxon to score in double figures with 10 points, two assists, two blocks and two steals. Stopera chipped in nine points and had a team eight assists.
Alfred will host Elmira College next Tuesday at 7:30PM.