Oswego fans were feeling good seeing their team head into the half. While the game was tied, the game seemed like it was in the Lakers control. They started the game 9-2 and their offense looked fantastic. They also held the lead for a total time of 16:27, while limiting the Bears to a time of 1:12.
Then a spark ignited for the Bears. Turnover after turnover, score after score, the Bears looked unstoppable. The Lakers seemed lost on offense as the Bears started to tear off on a 16-0 run. Oswego managed to interrupt the run with 7 minutes left in the game. With an injury to a starter early in the game and no answer to the Bears Isaiah Brown, the game seemed out of reach.
Brown finished the game with an impressive 42 points and 15 rebounds, going 50 percent from the three point line. He also made a spectacular 4-point play, and scored 8 of the points from the 16-0 run. Other notable performances from the bears include Jayquan Thomas with 9 points and 6 assists, alongside Tyrese Baptiste with 8 points and 9 rebounds.
The Lakers ended the day with a 22.2% three-point percentage, against a Bears 33.3% three-point percentage. Oswego’s Brandon Gartland led the team with 18 points and went 4-10 from three. He also picked up 8 rebounds and a single steal. Only one other Laker scored more than 10 and that was Joe Sullivan who recorded 16 points and 7 rebounds.
“It’s a little easier to play transition defense when you put the ball in the basket,” said Coach Jason Leone. “We just went a little cold from the field.” Oswego went 36.4% from the field to a 28.1% in the second. The shots stopped falling and the defense couldn’t hold up giving up a 54.8% field goal in the second half.
An injury from Liam Sanborn didn’t help the Lakers in any way. He was playing an impressive game up until that point with 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists in the first half alone. Gartland said that Sanborn was a team leader and a defensive captain as well, so losing a guy like that definitely impacted the 2nd half’s drought.
It should also be known that both teams looked sloppy with the basketball. There were many instances for both teams where points were scored off of sloppy ball handling or steals. The Bears had a total of 18 turnovers while the Lakers gave up 16 turnovers. There were also many times during the game where they would almost lose the ball and give it right back up. But the Bears were making the most of their turnovers scoring 20 points off of the Lakers mishaps.
The Lakers will need to put this game behind them as they go on to face Oneonta Red Dragons for a SUNYAC game on Tuesday. “We have three games left in the regular season,” Gartland said. “We could move up in the rankings possibly and get a try to get a home game.”
As for the Bears, they will try to stay undefeated at home as they will also face Oneonta at home on Friday.