SYRACUSE, NY. – February 6, 2011 – The Onondaga Community College men’s basketball team defeated Corning Community College, 90-65, in Corning on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Lazers clinched a berth in the Mid-State Athletic Conference Championship Tournament. The tournament will be held on the home court of the conference regular season champion, with semi-finals to be played on February 19, and the conference championship game set for February 20. Finger Lakes Community College, Broome Community College, and Jefferson Community College have also clinched spots in the tournament. Finger Lakes currently leads Onondaga and Broome by a game and a half in the conference standings.
On Saturday, the Lazers jumped out to a 7-0 lead and never trailed in defeating the Red Barons. Onondaga extended the advantage to 45-31 at halftime, and put the game away with a 15-0 run to open the second half. Onondaga received contributions from the entire roster, as all 12 Lazers who dressed for the game scored and played at least 10 minutes. Jesse Gates (Liverpool) led the way with 24 points in 20 minutes. Andrew Lucio (Solvay) added 18 points and a team high 9 assists. Mike Ontl (Davenport Charlotte Valley) posted his best line as a Lazer with 8 points and 5 rebounds, while Drew Nixon (Baldwinsville C.W. Baker) made his first college start and responded with 6 points and team bests of 9 rebounds and 3 steals. Onondaga shot 60.4% from the floor, while limiting Corning to 37.9% shooting. The Lazers owned a 46-25 rebounding advantage, and a 36-8 margin in bench scoring.
Onondaga was coming into Corning off of a 90-84 overtime defeat in a non-conference game at Herkimer County Community College last Thursday. In that game, the Lazers took the lead early in the first half and held it until Herkimer forged a tie with a deep three-point field goal with 9 seconds to go in regulation. After Heath Stone (Chittenango) gave the Lazers a 2-point lead in overtime, the Generals went on a 10-2 run to come away with the win. Gates played all 45 minutes and led Onondaga with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Lucio added 20 points and 8 assists and Stone chipped in 16 points and 9 rebounds. Herkimer held a 55-44 rebounding advantage and connectd on 24 of 31 free throws, compared to only 10 of 16 for the Lazers.
Onondaga returns home for the final two times of the regular season this week. On Wednesday at 8:00 pm, the Lazers host Broome Community College. Onondaga and Broome are currently tied for second place in the MSAC, and the winner of Wednesday’s game will keep their hopes of capturing the MSAC regular season title alive. On Saturday, the Lazers will close out the regular season home campaign against Jefferson Community College at 3:00 pm.
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