SYRACUSE, NY. – November 8, 2010 – The Onondaga Community College men’s basketball team opened the 2010-2011 season this past weekend by splitting a pair of games in the Elite Limousine and Coach Tip-Off Tournament, hosted by Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, PA. On Saturday, the Lazers defeated NJCAA Division II Manor College of Jenkintown, PA, 67-64. That moved Onondaga into yesterday’s championship game against host Northampton, where the Lazers rallied from a 15 point second half deficit to forge a tie late, before falling, 81-73, to the Spartans.
In Saturday’s season and tournament opener, Onondaga built a slim 29-26 halftime advantage over Manor, and was able to extend the lead to as much as 8 points early in the second half. The Blue Jays rallied, however, and were able to build a 64-56 lead of their own with 3:15 remaining in the contest. At that point, Onondaga’s defense stiffened, and the Lazers closed the contest by scoring the final 11 points to come away with the victory. Brandon Seibt (Central Square P.V. Moore) came off the bench to lead Onondaga with 19 points in his first college contest. Jesse Gates (Liverpool) added 13 points, while Heath Stone (Chittenango) pulled down a team high 14 rebounds and Andrew Lucio (Solvay) handed out 6 assists. The game was dominated by defense on both sides, as Onondaga only shot 36% from the floor but held Manor to 39% shooting and forced 19 Blue Jay turnovers. The Lazers also owned a 56-46 rebounding advantage.
Onondaga started quickly in Sunday’s final, jumping out to a 14-5 advantage. Early foul trouble hampered the Lazers’ efforts, however, and host Northampton was able to recover and move out to a 34-27 halftime advantage. The Spartan lead grew to as much as 58-43 with 11:26 remaining, before the Lazers mounted a comeback. A Seibt three-pointer pulled Onondaga even at 73-73 with 1:56 to go, but that was the last that the Lazers would score, as Northampton went 8 for 8 from the foul line the rest of the way to come away with the win and the tournament championship. Stone led Onondaga with 20 points and 14 rebounds, and was named to the All-Tournament Team. Gates added 16 points, while Lucio scored 14 points and handed out 8 assists. Both teams struggled to shoot the ball, with Onondaga connecting on 37% of their shots and Northampton shooting only 32% from the floor. Northampton held a slight 52-50 rebounding edge and committed only 12 turnovers compared to 19 for Onondaga. The difference in the game came at the free throw line, where Northampton connected on 27 of 36 attempts, while the Lazers were only 9 for 14.
Onondaga returns to action on Thursday evening, as they travel to SUNY Delhi for a 7:00 pm non-conference tip-off. The Lazers will open their home schedule with a non-conference game against another NJCAA Division II opponent, Jamestown Community College-Cattaraugus, on Sunday, November 14, at 3:00 pm.
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