SYRACUSE, NY. – November 11, 2012 – Trailing by 6 at halftime, the Onondaga Community College men’s basketball team erupted for 63 second half points en route to a 100-89 home victory over Jamestown Community College-Cattaraugus Campus on Saturday afternoon. The win improved the Lazers’ record to 3-1 on the season, while Jamestown-Cattaraugus, a NJCAA Division II school and member of the Western New York Athletic Conference, fell to 1-2. It was Onondaga’s 12th straight win over the Jaguars.
The Lazers struggled on offense in the early going yesterday, and Jamestown-Cattaraugus was able to capitalize and gradually build an advantage. Jamestown-Cattaraugus’ James Brown’s driving basket gave the Jaguars a 38-26 lead with 3:48 to go in the opening half. Onondaga’s Vaughndell Brantley (Cicero-North Syracuse) was in the midst of scoring 13 straight Lazer points, however, and Onondaga was able to narrow the deficit to 43-37 at the halftime break. Brantley scored 19 of Onondaga’s 37 points in the half, as Onondaga connected on only 10 of 35 shots.
Onondaga came out of the half and quickly turned the tide of the contest. When Tyler Bliss (Liverpool) rebounded and scored off of his own miss, the Lazers had their first lead since 6-5, 51-49, with 16:47 to go. Onondaga continued the run and built their advantage, and when Bliss scored off of a steal and pass from Mike Granato (Auburn), the Lazers led, 73-56, with 10:21 remaining, a 36-13 run over the first 10 minutes of the half. A pair of Granato free throws made it 77-60 with 8:42 to go. At that point the Jaguars began to rally. Richard Dukes scored 9 straight Jaguar points, 7 from the foul line, and Jamestown-Cattaraugus began to climb back in the game. When Terrence Johnson scored on a rebound basket, the Jaguars were within 4 at 87-83 with 2:56 to go. A driving layup by Onondaga’s David Haye (Ramapo) put the Lazers back up 6, but Brown converted a pair of free throws to make it 89-85 with 1:44 remaining. 5 straight points by Bliss moved Onondaga back in front by 9, before 2 free throws fron the Jaguars’ Stephane Vilson cut the Onondaga advantage to 7 with 56 seconds remaining. Haye responded with a driving dunk, then he and Garrett Sisson (Schenectady Mohonasen) each made a pair of free throws to close things out.
Freshmen forwards Brantley and Bliss each had their best games to date in an Onondaga uniform. Brantley tallied 33 points, the single game high for a Lazer thus far. Bliss added a career best 19 points and pulled down 18 rebounds. Haye added 17 points and 6 assists, and Ryan Gavin (Nedrow Onondaga) chipped in 11 points and 9 rebounds. Dukes and Brown paced teh Jaguars with 24 and 23 points respectively.
Onondaga goes on the road for its next two games. On Tuesday, the Lazers travel to Johnson City for a 6:00 pm tip-off at Davis College, the 2-time defending Shenandoah & Chesapeake Conference champions. On Saturday, the Lazers will play SUNY Delhi, the #2 ranked team in the nation according to the most recent NJCAA Division III national poll. Tip-off is 4:00 pm in Delhi. Onondaga’s next home game is on Tuesday, November 20th, when the Lazers host Schenectady County Community College at 7:00 pm.
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