Brockport men's basketball SUNYAC bound
Senior guard Derek Klein scored 11 points in Brockport’s 103-98 loss to Fredonia Saturday, Feb. 16. The game was Brockport’s final game before starting the SUNYAC tournament. Natalie Muster/SPORTS EDITOR
Despite a 103-98 loss at home to the Fredonia Blue Devils Saturday, Feb. 16, the Brockport men's basketball team (15-9 overall, 10-7 SUNYAC) still clinched a spot in the SUNYAC playoffs as the No. 5 seed over the weekend. The Eagles began tournament play Tuesday, Feb. 19 at No. 4 seed Oswego.
The night prior to being defeated by Fredonia (7-17 overall, 3-15 SUNYAC), Brockport traveled to Buffalo to take on the Buffalo State Bengals (13-11 overall, 8-10 SUNYAC). The Eagles were able squeak out a 92-84 overtime win. The Eagles produced 14 steals and 20 assists.
Junior guard John Ivy scored a career-high 35 points while going 13-of-27 from the field and adding 11 rebounds and four steals.
Ivy and junior Brandon Caruthers were a huge reason why the Eagles were able to force overtime. Both players were able to make key shots down the stretch for the team.
Buffalo committed 25 fouls and Brockport made 28-of-42 free throws, which gave them 66 percent shooting on the night.
Both Ivy and Caruthers went 8-of-9 from the free-throw line. Caruthers, who usually comes off the bench, started the game and scored 20 points along with eight assists.
Throughout the season, Brockport has put pressure on the opposing team's ball handlers. This was the case during the Buffalo State contest. Brockport forced 24 turnovers, which contributed to 28 points.
Brockport was also able to get many easy buckets and accumulated 48 points in the paint.
In overtime Brockport got to the free-throw line, knocked down shots, built a lead and never looked back.
Brockport outscored Buffalo 17-9 in overtime. With the win, Brockport would just need a win versus Fredonia and an Oswego loss in order to lock up a home game during the SUNYAC tournament.
Saturday night was the last time seniors Derek Klein and Jordan Major would play at home in front of the Brockport crowd. Unfortunately, the celebration was spoiled by a late run by the Blue Devils, who did not allow the Eagles to build a lead bigger than six points in the second half.
During the first half, Brockport was able to create steals in the open court and force Fredonia in bad situations. The Golden Eagles capitalized on it.
Brockport scored 31 points off of turnovers on a night that the Eagles created 16 steals.
Brockport could not pull away from Fredonia simply because of the free throw shooting by the Blue Devils. Down the stretch in the first half both teams traded baskets, which resulted in Brockport only having a one-point lead of 50-49 going into halftime.
Brockport led for the entire first half, but as soon as the second half began Fredonia took the lead for the first time at 51-50. From this moment on, the game was not be the same. Eight times in the second half the score was tied, and also nine times the lead switched hands.
Fredonia's Amir Billups proved to be too much for the Eagles, dropping 25 points while shooting 7-of-12 from the field and going a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line.
Ivy scored more than 30 points for the second straight game in a row. He attempted 24 free throws on the night and made 17, while going 6-of-14 from the field.
One reason for the high scoring game was the number of fouls committed by both teams. An astounding 60 fouls were committed during the contest, 30 by each team, which led to 92 free throws attempted on the night by both teams combined.
Early in the second half, both teams entered the shooting bonus. This made for very cautious defensive play for fear of sending shooters to the line. Brockport went 29-of-43 from the line while Fredonia made 41-of-49 of its free throws.
Free throw shooting by the Blue Devils ultimately sealed the fate for the Eagles. But Brockport had one last chance to tie the game up when it trailed 101-98 in the final seconds. Klein attempted a 3-point field goal, but the shot did not fall and the ball found its way to the hands of a Fredonia player.
Bobby Bell and Dorian Hayden both contributed with 13 points and Klein chipped in 11 points.
Post-game interviews were declined and emails to players were not returned.
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