SYRACUSE, NY. - February 8, 2007 - Onondaga Community College men's basketball player Justin Stern (Jamesville-DeWitt) has been named the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III Men's Basketball National Player of the Week for the week ending February 3. He is the first Region III player to receive the recognition this season, and the first Onondaga player to be named since Dan Marsella (Liverpool) in 2005. On Tuesday Stern had been named the Mid-State Athletic Conference Player of the Week for the same period. Stern earned national honor based on his performance in Onondaga's road wins at Jefferson Community College and North Country Community College last week. In a 98-91 overtime win at Jefferson last Wednesday, he scored a career high 27 points by connecting on 9 of his 13 three-point attempts. His 9 made three-point goals also tied an Onondaga school record, originally set by Chet Columbus (Syracuse Bishop Ludden) in a game against North Country Community College on January 14, 2001. On Saturday, Stern contributed 16 points in an 85-71 win at North Country. In that game he made 5 of 7 shots from the floor, including 3 of 5 from three-point range. For the week, he shot 66.7% from both the three-point range (12 of 18) and from the field overall (14 of 21). On the season Stern has connected on 41 of 99 three-point attempts, and his three-point percentage of 41.4% currently ranks him 8th nationally, according to the latest National Junior College Athletic Association statistics.
Last night, Onondaga defeated Tompkins Cortland Community College on the road, 88-85. The win raised the Lazers' overall record to 16-6, and their Mid-State Conference mark to 7-1. It also secured the Lazers a berth in the upcoming Region III Division III Championship Tournament. This also marks the 6th consecutive year that Onondaga has qualified for the regional tournament, the longest active streak among Mid-State Conference schools and the 3rd longest streak among all Region III schools. Tournament seedings will be announced on Sunday, February 25, with first round play beginning on Tuesday, February 27. Steve Siechen (East Syracuse-Minoa) led a balanced Onondaga attack with 21 points. Danny Smith (Canastota) added 18, while Rich Buckmon (Syracuse Henninger) and Shane Williams (Camillus West Genesee) added 12 points each. Williams also established a new Onondaga single game rebound record, as he pulled down 21 rebounds in the contest. Smith handed out 11 assists.
The Lazers return to Mid-State Athletic Conference play Saturday with a 3:00 pm contest at Cayuga Community College.
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