SYRACUSE, NY. – January 30, 2011 – The Onondaga Community College men’s basketball team rebounded from Wednesday night’s 91-65 loss at Finger Lakes Community College, the #6 team in the country, with an 83-67 home Mid-State Athletic Conference win over neighboring rival Cayuga Community College yesterday afternoon. The win raised Onondaga’s overall record to 16-7, and their MSAC mark to 5-3. The victory was also significant in that with the win, the Lazers qualified for the National Junior College Athletic Association Region III Division III Tournament. Seedings for the regional tournament will be announced on Sunday night, February 20th, with play set to begin with 1st Round contests on Tuesday, February 22nd. This season marks the 11th consecutive year that Onondaga has qualified for post-season play at the conference and/or regional level under 11th season head coach David Pasiak (Waterville). This is the longest active streak of all MSAC members.
Yesterday against Cayuga, the Lazers started fast, jumping out to a 14-0 lead 6 minutes into the game. Onondaga extended the advantage to as much as 24 points, before heading to halftime with a 47-29 advantage. Jesse Gates (Liverpool) scored 13 of his 20 points in the first half to help stake the Lazers to the early lead. In the second half, Onondaga was able to hold off Cayuga’s attempts to rally, as the Spartans never got closer than 8 points. Gates and Heath Stone (Chittenango) shared high scoring honors with 20 points each. Stone also pulled down 22 rebounds, blocked 5 shots, and handed out 6 assists. His 22-rebound total set a new Onondaga single game record, breaking the previous record of 21, shared by Shane Williams (Camillus West Genesee / Lindenwood University) and Matt Potter (New Berlin Unadilla Valley / Wentworth Institute of Technology). Andrew Lucio (Solvay) added 14 points and 6 assists for the Lazers, while Brandon Seibt (Central Square P.V. Moore) also reached double figures with 10 points. For the game, the Lazers connected on 32 of 62 shots (51.6%), while limiting the Spartans to 26 of 79 (32.9%) shooting. Onondaga also owned a 51-45 rebounding advantage.
The Lazers’ effort against Cayuga was a strong answer to their disappointing loss at Finger Lakes last Wednesday. In that game, Onondaga shook off early foul trouble to take a 22-16 lead with 8:00 to go in the first half. The host Lakers would then outscore Onondaga 42-16 over the next 15 minutes, and the Lazers were never able to mount a late threat. Drew Nixon (Baldwinsville C.W. Baker) was Onondaga’s only double figure scorer with 14 points, while Jake Johnson (Tully) pulled down 13 rebounds. The Lazers shot only 28.8% from the floor, compared to 53.7% for Finger Lakes. 23 Onondaga turnovers and a 51-42 Finger Lakes rebounding advantage also contributed to the Laker win.
Onondaga returns to action this week with a pair of road games. On Thursday, the Lazers travel to Herkimer County Community College for an 8:00 pm non-conference contest. Onondaga will then return to MSAC play on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 pm at Corning Community College. The Lazers return home on Wednesday, February 9th, when they host MSAC-leading Broome Community College at 8:00 pm.
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