SYRACUSE, NY. – February 12, 2012 – The Onondaga Community College men’s basketball team built a 15-point lead early in the second half of Saturday’s Mid-State Athletic Conference matchup with Jefferson Community College, then withstood a Jefferson rally and came away with an 87-82 victory. The win raised the Lazers’ MSAC record to 6-4 and moved Onondaga 1/2 game ahead of the Cannoneers in the conference standings. Jefferson fell to 6-5 in conference. Onondaga is now 15-11 overall, and Jefferson is 12-13 on the season. The Lazers are currently 1 game behind Cayuga Community College and Tompkins Cortland Community College, both of whom are 7-3 in MSAC play.
Onondaga and Jefferson battled on nearly even terms during the early stages of the contest. With Jefferson leading, 9-8, Ian Hamm (Liverpool) connected on a three-point goal and the Cannoneers would never recapture the advantage. With Onondaga leading, 22-20, Kevin Corbin (Cicero-North Syracuse) scored a basket off of a feed from Brandon Seibt (Central Square P.V. Moore), was fouled, and completed the three-point play, igniting an 8-1 run which extended the Onondaga advantage to 30-21 with 5:13 to go in the half. With the Lazers ahead, 36-29, Michael Scott (Chittenango) scored twice as a part of a 7-2 Onondaga run to close the half and send the Lazers to the break with a 43-31 lead.
Onondaga was able to extend the lead to as much as 15 points early in the second half. The Lazers were never able to put the Cannoneers away, however. A Jesse Gates (Liverpool) three-pointer gave Onondaga a 72-63 lead with 6:56 to go, but Jefferson responded by scoring the next seven points. After the Cannoneers’ Tom Kelso converted two free throws, the Onondaga lead was down to 72-20 with 5:19 to go. Hamm scored to move the lead back to 4, but Jefferson’s Jabriel Blue answered with a rebound basket to get Jefferson back within two. Hamm scored on a rebound basket and Garrett Sisson (Schenectady Mohonasen) sank a foul line jumper to put the Lazers ahead by 6 with 4:32 remaining. After Jefferson’s Spencer Parsons scored after rebounding a missed free throw, Jordan Prior (Cortland) knocked down a three-pointer and the Lazers led, 81-74, with 3:29 to go. Again, Jefferson responded, and the Cannoneers went on a 7-0 run, capped by a three-pointer from Derrick Williams, which tied the game at 81 with 1:41 remaining. Onondaga and Jefferson both failed to score on their next possessions, then Prior fed Hamm for a transition layup to put Onondaga back up by 2 with 49 seconds to go. Jefferson could only muster 1 Blue free throw on their final five possessions, while Gates went 4 for 4 from the foul line in the final 29 seconds to put the game away for Onondaga.
Hamm paced Onondaga with 24 points and 7 rebounds. Prior added 16 points and dished out 9 assists without committing a turnover. Gates recorded a double double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Jefferson was led by Blue’s 26 points, while Kelso added 13 points and 19 rebounds. Adam Warner scored 11 points and handed out 9 assists for the Cannoneers.
Onondaga returns to the court on Wednesday evening, when the Lazers will host MSAC co-leader Tompkins Cortland Community College at 7:00 pm. The game will be the final regular season home game for this season, and the final home appearance for second year Lazers Corbin, Gates, Prior, Seibt, Tom Graf (Jordan-Elbridge), Steve Lothridge (East Syracuse-Minoa), Mike Ontl (Davenport Charlotte Valley), and Nick Rizzo (Vernon-Verona-Sherrill). It will be played in the newly opened SRC Arena and Events Center on the Onondaga campus, and will be the first Onondaga athletic event to be played in the new facility.
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