SYRACUSE, NY. – January 21, 2011 – The Onondaga Community College men’s basketball team traveled to Watertown on Wednesday night to take on Jefferson Community College. The Cannoneers entered the contest leading the Mid-State Athletic Conference, but at the end of the night it was the Lazers that came away with an 82-71 victory. The win raised Onondaga’s overall record to 14-6 on the season, and their conference mark to 3-2. The Lazers are now ½ game behind Jefferson and a full game behind both Finger Lakes Community College and Broome Community College in the conference standings.
Onondaga and Jefferson battled on fairly even terms throughout the first half of Wednesday’s game, as there were 14 lead changes and 9 ties in the opening stanza. With the game tied at 36, Jesse Gates (Liverpool) connected on a three-point goal in the final minute to give the Lazers a 3 point lead at the break. Onondaga opened the second half on an 11-4 run to take a 50-40 lead, one that they would never relinquish. Jefferson stayed close however, and trailed by only 3, 70-67, with just under 4 minutes to go when Andrew Lucio (Solvay) connected on a long three-point goal with the shot clock expiring, triggering a game closing 12-4 run which sealed the win for Onondaga.
Gates led Onondaga with 33 points and 10 rebounds for the contest. It was his second consecutive 33-point outburst, and matches his career high as a Lazer. Lucio added 17 points and 8 assists, while Heath Stone (Chittenango) chipped in 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. The Lazers enjoyed a good shooting performance for the contest, connecting on 31 of 58 field goal attempts (53.4%), compared to 25 of 57 (43.9%) for Jefferson. Onondaga owned a 38-27 rebounding advantage and forced 13 Jefferson turnovers while committing 15 themselves.
Onondaga returns to Mid-State Athletic Conference play when they host Tompkins Cortland Community College tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon at 3:00 pm. That game will be a part of the Hoops for the Hospital series of games at Onondaga. Hoops for the Hospital will benefit the Golisano Children’s Hospital.
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