SYRACUSE, NY. – January 20, 2013 – Playing their 5th game in 8 days, the Onondaga Community College men’s basketball team defeated Mid-State Athletic Conference leading Tompkins Cortland Community College, 96-87, in Allyn Hall on Saturday afternoon. The win was Onondaga’s 4th in their last 5 games, and raised the Lazers’ overall record to 12-7 and their MSAC mark to 3-2. Tompkins Cortland suffered their first MSAC loss and saw an 8-game winning streak snapped. The Panthers fell to 12-4 overall and 4-1 in conference play.
The Panthers got off to a quick start on Saturday, jumping out to a 13-6 advantage highlighted by a pair of three-pointers from Tyseem Lyles. Onondaga’s Vaughndell Brantley (Cicero-North Syracuse) hit his third consecutive three to pull the Lazers to 13-9 and a pair of Lyles free throws made it 15-9 Panthers. At that point the Lazers responded, and when Tyler Bliss (Liverpool) scored off of a feed from Brantley, Onondaga took its first lead at 19-17, 6:30 into the contest. Adam Misener (Liverpool) followed with a three to push Onondaga’s lead to 5 before Tompkins Cortland responded by scoring the next 6 points to regain the lead. The two teams traded the advantage through the rest of the first half, before a late Panther run sent the guests to the locker room with a 51-47 lead.
Tompkins Cortland maintained the lead in the early part of the second half, and when Adam Park hit a pair of free throws the Panthers held a 62-55 advantage with 14:09 to go. Onondaga responded again, going on a 12-point run. Ryan Gavin (Nedrow Onondaga) scored on a pass from Malik Mountain (Nedrow Onondaga) to put Onondaga back in front, and a Tyler Wood (Broadalbin-Perth) three-pointer put the Lazers ahead, 67-62. The Lazers maitained a slim margin over the next several minutes, and drive by Garrett Sisson (Schenectady Mohonasen) made the score 83-76, Onondaga, with 3:30 remaining. The Panthers answered, and after a three-pointer from Lyles and a basket and free throw from Devin Redden, Tompkins Cortland had cut the deficit to 83-82 with under 2 minutes to go. Wood converted a pair of free throws to put Onondaga back up 3, but Lyles scored on a drive to pull Tompkins Cortland back within 1. Misener then hit a three-pointer on a pass from Brantley to give Onondaga an 88-84 lead with just over a minute remaining. After both teams failed to convert, Onondaga forced a Panther turnover with less than 30 seconds remaining, and the Lazers made 8 of 8 free throw attempts in the final 25 seconds to secure the win.
Brantley led a balanced Onondaga attack with 25 points and he added 4 assists. Wood added 17 and Misener had 15 for the Lazers. Bliss had 13 points and 12 rebounds and Gavin chipped in 11 points. Sisson scored 9 points, pulled down 11 rebounds, and handed out 6 assists and Mountain also handed out 6 assists. Lyles led Tompkins Cortland with 23 points and 7 assists. Park added 12 points and Caleb Wright pulled down 15 rebounds. Onondaga made 29 of 61 (47.5%) shots from the floor, 10 of 29 (34.5%) from behind the arc, and 28 of 33 (84.8%) free throws. Tompkins Cortland was 32 of 79 (40.5%) from the floor, 9 of 29 (31.0%) from the three-point arc, and 14 of 15 (93.3%) from the line. The Panthers held a 43-39 rebounding advantage.
Onondaga came into Saturday’s game off of a split of MSAC road contests during the week. On Tuesday, the Lazers fell behind by 9 at half and never recovered, dropping a 109-94 decision at Broome Community College. Broome’s Lloyd Saunders, the leading scorer in the MSAC, had a huge game, pacing the Hornets with 41 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. Eric Barry (19 points/8 rebounds) and Joseph Felix (18/10) also had double doubles for Broome. Misener paced the Lazers with 23 points while Wood added 14 and 8 assists.
The Lazers then traveled to Jefferson Community College on Thursday and came away with an 83-66 win. Onondaga jumped out to a 15-point halftime lead and extended it to 20 early in the second half, before holding off a late Cannoneer rally. Brantley led Onondaga with 21 points, with Sisson adding 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Gavin recording career highs of 16 points and 16 rebounds. Wood again handed out 8 assists. Derrick Williams and Damien Jackson scored 19 points each to pace Jefferson.
Onondaga travels to Finger Lakes Community College for an 8 pm tip-off on Wednesday. The Lazers’ win over Tompkins Cortland, combined with Finger Lakes’ win over Cayuga Community College on Saturday, moved Finger Lakes into a 1st place tie in the MSAC, with the Lazers a game behind. Onondaga returns home on Saturday, with a 1 pm tip-off against Cayuga in the SRC Arena and Events Center. That game will be preceded by the annual Onondaga alumni game at 11 am.
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