By: Mike Rose
New Paltz, NY -- Behind a first-half defensive clinic, the Brockport men's basketball team knocked off the New Paltz Hawks 66-55. Once again the Golden Eagles got big production from the second unit which scored 32 points. The win catapults Brockport into sole possession of second place in the SUNYAC with four games remaining in the regular season.
It was once again a fast start that powered Brockport to the win. The two teams traded buckets early on with a layup from Alex Krupinski giving New Paltz a 10-9 edge. From there the Golden Eagles took over. A triple from Nathaniel Gordon jumpstarted an eventual 15-0 run from Brockport. Brockport took a 32-17 lead into the locker room and held New Paltz's two leading scorers, AJ Knight and Rylan Blondo, to a combined zero points on 0-for-2 from the field. Out of the break, the momentum completely flipped.
The Hawks began the second half on a 16-0 run capped off by a Knight jumper to give New Paltz its first lead since the 13:10 mark of the first half. Brockport's answer once again came from the bench unit. Gordon and Zach Rice would score lay-ups to halt the run. New Paltz countered right back to regain a five-point edge before Tony Arnold made his mark on the game.
The 2nd-team All-Conference guard scored nine of the next 11 for Brockport to push the lead back to five in favor of the Golden Eagles. Alex Tavarez would serve as the closer once again to end the night.
Tavarez scored six points down the stretch before Danny Ashley drilled a three-pointer to cap off a 13-3 Brockport burst and extended the lead to 13. A fast break dunk from Caquan Wester put the exclamation mark on a big-time road effort from Brockport.
"We knew that today was big because it was a two versus three seed but Oneonta is even bigger because if we lose to them this win means nothing," Rice said.
Rice would finish as the high scorer for the Golden Eagles with 11 points. Arnold, Tavarez and Wester each posted 10 points in the win. Wester added nine rebounds while Tavarez added eight. Gordon chipped in nine points in a balanced night for Brockport. Kobe Bogart led New Paltz with 11 points while Knight finished with 10. Blondo scored just two points on 1-for-6 shooting.
Brockport (14-6, 10-4) will look to continue to keep pace atop the SUNYAC when they play their final road game of the regular season tomorrow, Feb. 3, against the Oneonta Red Dragons (10-10, 7-6). Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. with our coverage beginning following the women's game on 89.1 The Point.