Men’s Basketball Falls to Oswego in SUNYAC Championship

SUNY Oneonta Athletics

Casey Ryder, Staff Writer |

This past Saturday the men’s basketball team fell to Oswego in the SUNYAC conference championship.

In the early stages of the game, the Lakers were utterly dominant. They came flying out the gates starting with a layup from Brendan Mulson. Mulson followed that up with another layup and after his teammate, Jeremiah Sparks got a layup, Munson made a three-pointer to put the Lakers up 9.

Their dominance wasn’t limited to the offensive end of the court, defensively the Lakers were lights out. Thanks to Oswego’s solid man-to-man defense, Oneonta struggled to find good shots and it ended up making them more than five minutes to get on the board. Sean Nolan ultimately got the team’s first bucket with a layup to cut the lead to 7. But following that basket, the Lakers immediately went down to the other end of the court and picked up a layup from Jamal Achille who drew a foul in the process. The basket, which put Oswego back up by 9, forced Oneonta to take a timeout. The timeout was much needed as Oswego was dominating all facets of the game.

Coming out of the break, the game became a little more competitive. Achille made the ensuing free throw and after that Jeremiah Sparks scored a layup to put the Lakers up by 12.  Following that, the Red Dragons got a couple of buckets of their own to cut the deficit. Michael Ortale had a three-point play after drawing a foul on a layup and Daniel Derice nailed a jumper to cut the lead to 7.

For the next five minutes, the teams would go back and forth exchanging buckets but the lead that Oswego had built early on would keep them up by a significant margin and with just under six and a half minutes remaining, Jeremiah Sparks scored a layup to put Oswego up 25-12.

Down the stretch, Oswego with their home crowd roaring them on would begin to pull away. Oswego was already up by 13 and in the last five minutes of the half, they outscored Oneonta 13-7 with 8 of those points coming from Julien Crittendon. As a result, the Lakers led 38-19 at the half.

In the second half things only got worse for the Red Dragons. Following a layup from Sean Nolan to cut the lead to 20, the Lakers went on a 10-0 scoring run for 3 minutes and 54 seconds to put Oswego up by 30. Frankly, any hopes that our boys had of making a comeback were dashed early on by the outstanding play of Oswego who throughout the game showed exactly why they were this season’s regular-season champions.

As the half wore on, the Red Dragons continued to fight tooth and nail to cut the lead, but Oswego was simply too good. Ultimately, with just over five minutes remaining and with Oswego up by 29, both coaches began to utilize their bench signaling that there was nothing left to play for.

The last few minutes were uneventful with the game being all but over and in the end, Oswego went on to cruise to victory 81-60 to win the SUNYAC and book their place in the NCAA Tournament.

This result likely means that the season has come to an end for our men’s basketball team. If it is in fact the end of the road, it goes without saying that we couldn’t be prouder of our boys. They are a terrific group of young men, and we cannot wait to see what they do next year. Go Red Dragons! 

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