The Lakers were not able to keep pace with Oneonta’s scoring and clinch first place in the SUNY AC, as they were only 26% in shots behind the arc on just 15 attempts compared to the Red Dragon’s 7-21 shooting from deep.
Oswego State made 5 less threes than the team’s per game average, but there were many other aspects of the game which Oneonta was more efficient in, ultimately deciding the outcome of the game. The Red Dragons took better care of the basketball and had 5 less turnovers than Oswego. The Lakers were overmatched on the boards as well, as Oneonta secured 8 more rebounds than Oswego by the final horn of the game, many being hauled in from both ends of the floor. “We’ve been a good rebounding team all year. I don’t think one-night changes that”, said coach Leone.
The superior ball security and rebounding from Oneonta gave the Dragons more shooting opportunities than the Lakers. Though the Lakers shot the ball more efficiently than Oneonta (43% to 40%), they only shot the ball 55 times. Oneonta had 64 field goal attempts. Opportunities were what gave Oneonta the dominant edge tonight. While Oneonta was able to get off more shots from inside and outside the arc, their constant attack in the paint gave them twice as many free throw attempts than the Lakers. Oswego was never able to get to the line in the first half, and when they did in the second, they shot poorly. The Lakers made just 3 of their 7 free throw attempts while Oneonta went 11-14 from the line on 78.6%.
Down by 9 after a 10-2 Oneonta run in the first half Oswego appeared to be outmatched. The Lakers then forced a jump ball stop and scored another 2 points they had been desperately looking for, but then Oneonta extended the run to 17-4. However, the Lakers responded and made it seem like they would keep the game competitive, going on a 12-2 run of their own and eventually working their way back in to the game, tying the score 29-29 at the end of the first half.
The second half went differently. Oneonta went on a 11-0 run after the Laker’s had their biggest lead of the night (35-30), and never got it back. Oswego Guard Liam Sanborn had a team-high 19 points and guard Brandan Gartland led the team in rebounds with 10 notching in a double-double with 12 points, but the Lakers and their backcourt in double figures weren’t enough for Joseph Bull and Oneonta. Bull led the team in scoring with 26 points and hauled in 12 rebounds for a double-double. “We didn’t guard him well enough. We let him get a couple easy baskets early”, said coach Leon.
The 18-5 Lakers now tied for first place in the SUNY AC (13-3) will still have a chance to clinch first place and home court advantage by winning their last two games of the season. “I’m not worried about clinching home court at this point. Whether we play at home or on the road, if we play the way we did tonight we’re not going to win a playoff game”, coach Leon said.
Oswego will travel to Brockport this Friday and look to get the series sweep against the Golden Eagles.