SYRACUSE, NY. – November 5, 2012 – The Onondaga Community College men’s basketball team opened its 2012-2013 campaign over the weekend, going on the road to face two members of the Eastern Pennsylvania Athletic Conference. On Saturday, the Lazers opened the season with an 87-83 overtime win over Lehigh Carbon Community College in Schnecksville. Onondaga followed that with a 91-86 loss at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem on Sunday.
Saturday’s season opener was tightly contested throughout. After the Lazers took an early 5-2 lead, Lehigh Carbon responded with a 13-4 run to go up 15-9. When Lehigh Carbon’s Aric Leddy hit a pair of free throws, the Cougar advantage grew to 33-24 with 4:20 to go in the first half. Onondaga responded by scoring the next 9 points and evening the score at 33, before a Joseph Fulton basket gave the Cougars a 2-point lead at the break. The Cougars were able to extend the lead early in the second half, and a Lucas Teixeira three-pointer put Lehigh Carbon back up by 7 with 14:56 to go. The Lazers responded with an 11-2 run of their own, capped by a Michael Granato (Auburn) jumper which put Onondaga ahead, 50-48, with 12:42 remaining. Onondaga maintained the lead for several posessions, and a Jacob VanDusen (Oneonta) rebound basket with 6:21 to go gave Onondaga its biggest lead at 67-62. The Cougars responded by scoring the next 6 points to go up one, and the teams traded the lead coming down the stretch. Tyler Wood’s (Broadalbin-Perth) three-pointer gave the Lazers a 74-73 lead with 1:07 left, but Leddy scored on a rebound basket with 56 seconds remaining to put the Cougars back up by 1. Wood made 1 of 2 free throws with 36 seconds to go to tie the game, and David Haye (Spring Valley Ramapo) blocked a potential game winning shot by the Cougars’ Frank DeJesus at the buzzer to send the game to overtime. The teams traded the lead early in the extra session, before VanDusen hit a pair of free throws with 1:49 to go to give the Lazers the lead for good. Wood extended the advantage to 4 with a three-pointer with 1:00 to go, and Onondaga made 5 of 6 free throws in the final minute to preserve the win.
Haye led the Lazers with 16 points, and Garrett Sisson (Schenectady Mohonasen) added 15 points and 10 rebounds. Wood and Vaughndell Brantley (Cicero-North Syracuse) both chipped in 13 pooints, while Granato handed out 6 assists. Leddy paced Lehigh Carbon with 17 points, while DeJesus added 16 points and 20 rebounds, and Erick Nyami recorded 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 blocked shots. Onondaga forced Lehigh Carbon into 27 turnovers, while turning it over 15 times themselves. The Cougars owned a 55-43 rebounding advantage.
Sunday’s game served as Northampton’s season opener, and was also tightly contested throughout, with both teams struggling to score for stretches. Northampton jumped out to a quick 6-0 advantage, but the Lazers responded by going on a 12-2 run, keyed by 6 points from Brantley, to take a 4-point lead just over 6 minutes into the game. The Spartans answered by outscoring Onondaga, 28-16 over the next 12 minutes, and held a 36-28 lead with 1:00 to go in the opening half. A rebound basket by Tyler Bliss (Liverpool) and a three-point play by Sisson narrowed the gap to 3 at the break. Baskets by Malik Mountain (Nedrow Onondaga) and VanDusen early in the second session gave Onondaga the lead back at 37-36. With the game tied at 40, Northampton scored 6 straight points to open up some breathing room. Onondaga responded by scoring 7 straight points, capped by a Bliss basket to put Onondaga in front with 12:58 to go. With the game tied at 51, Northampton’s Jaylonn Tullis scored in transition, and teammate Seth Stoudt followed with a three-pointer to put the hosts up 5 with 10:21 remaining. A three by Dontae Davis capped a 15-3 Spartan run to put Northampton up, 66-54, with 5:40 to go. At that point, the Lazers went to full full court pressure, and it paid immediate dividends, triggering a 12-4 run to pull Onondaga within 4 with 3:26 to go. Northampton pushed the advantage to 10 after an Andrew Miller three-pointer, but Onondaga again rallied. Sisson hit a pair of free throws, then Haye hit a jumper, then Sisson scored on a rebound after forcing a Northampton turnover, and the Lazers were within 85-81 with 48 seconds left. Northampton’s Brent Maron broke the pressure to score and put the Spartans back up 6, but a pair of Wood free throws brought Onondaga back within 4. After 2 Stoudt free throws, an Adam Misener (Liverpool) three-pointer brought Onondaga within 89-86 with 13 seconds to go. After nearly forcing a turnover, Onondaga fouled Stoudt, who hit a pair of free throws to account for the final margin.
Haye and Bliss paced five double figure scorers for the Lazers, tallying 17 and 16 points respectively. Sisson posted his second straight double double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Wood added 11 points, 8 assists, and 3 steals, and Brantley also reached double figures with 10 points. Tullis had an outstanding game for Northampton, scoring 28 points and pulling down 15 rebounds. Davis added 16 for the Spartans.
The Lazers return to action on Wednesday evening. Onondaga will host local rival SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry at 8:00 pm in the SRC Arena and Events Center. SUNY ESF is a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, and is coached by former Lazer assistant coach Scott Blair (Baldwinsville).
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