Slow start sinks Brockport in SUNYAC Finals
By: Mike Rose
The undisputed top two teams in the SUNYAC squared off one final time Saturday night with Oswego outlasting Brockport 74-63. The Lakers claimed their second consecutive SUNYAC championship and tenth overall. They also punched their ticket to the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament. Brockport struggled out of the gates, as Oswego raced out to a first half advantage as large as 16 points. A three from Jahidi Wallace late in the first half cut the margin to 46-33 in favor of the Lakers at the break. Out of the locker room Brockport worked to claw their way back into the game. The Golden Eagles eventually surged to within six points with just over ten minutes to play. That was as close as Brockport would ever get however, as Wallace believed they simply ran out of gas late. “It felt like we just got worn out at the end of the game using all our energy to fight back,” Wallace said. “If we would’ve started off the game that way, it could’ve been a different outcome. Just felt like we burned out at the end.” Brockport Head Coach Greg Dunne expressed similar feelings post-game. “We got down I think 18 in the second half and cut it all the way down to I believe four or five,” Dunne said. “In order to do that against a basketball team as good as these guys you have to throw out so much energy. I was super proud of our effort that half; we played as hard as we possibly could. We played a great basketball team tonight. I’m super proud of our effort, super proud of this team this year.” Wallace would finish as the lead man for Brockport once again scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Mehki Beckett added 15 points for the Golden Eagles. Tony Arnold chipped in with 11, all of which came in the second half. Ahkee Anderson led Oswego with 22 points. Beckett and Wallace were both honored post-game as part of the SUNYAC All-Tournament Team. With the loss the Brockport careers of seniors Jahidi Wallace, David Grady III, Davonte Jones and Tyler Cowie will likely come to a close. Grady reflected on his journey. “I came here and found a family,” Grady said. “I was supposed to be at Brockport out of high school so it all just seemed natural, it just seemed right. These guys made me want to change. The family environment we got, it can’t be replicated. I can say this might have been the best move I’ve made in my life coming to Brockport. I’m just grateful and blessed to have been here for two years and tasted success.” Wallace echoed a similar sentiment on his career. “I will love this program forever,” Wallace said “I’m gonna forever be an Eagle. It was an amazing four years of my career and I’m glad I came here.” While the Golden Eagles season likely ends with this game the door remains open for a potential at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. The selection show is on Monday at 1p.m.