Men's Basketball: Berkeley 73, SUNY ESF 51

Men's Basketball: Berkeley 73, SUNY ESF 51

Release courtesy of Berkeley Athletics

The Berkeley College men's basketball team continued to roll on Sunday afternoon, defeating the Mighty Oaks of SUNY-ESF by a score of 73-51 in a Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest. The game took place in Syracuse, NY. The victory – the 14th consecutive triumph for the Knights – improved Berkeley to a mark of 17-1 on the year. The team also stayed unblemished in league play, catapulting to a 4-0 record in the conference. SUNY-ESF fell to 4-11 overall on the 2017-2018 season, and 2-3 in league competition. Following the victory, Head Coach Jonathan Pena gave his thoughts.

"It was great to see our guys come back less than 24 hour after a stellar win at Villa Maria to pick up another victory," Pena said. "Demetri was hitting on all cylinders from start to finish, and Johnnie truly was a court general this afternoon. I was very pleased that we were able to get a lot of players involved in today's win. We'll now enjoy a couple of days off before getting ready to face The King's College (NY) on Wednesday evening."

The Knights' clash with the Mighty Oaks served as a rematch of the semifinal round game of the 2016-2017 Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament – a game won convincingly by Berkeley College by a score of 97-47. The Knights led 40-26 at halftime, and outscored SUNY-ESF 33-25 in the second stanza en route to a 22-point blowout triumph.

Leading the way for Berkeley College in the Knights' win was Stewart, as he connected on seven of his 10 attempts from the floor – including three of his four shots from beyond the arc to finish with a team-high 17 points. He also snatched four rebounds, as well. Green dropped-in 12 points and snatched five rebounds, and Foday Saccoh put together a strong effort by contributing 12 points, five rebounds, and two steals. Jason Velazquez scored six points and collected a game-high 12 rebounds, and Shamoree Strawn put together a versatile performance, scoring eight points, grabbing eight rebounds, and tallying three assists.

Despite the loss for SUNY-ESF, the Mighty Oaks were led by Zachary Dormer, as he scored a game-high 20 points while grabbing three rebounds and tallying three steals. Tyler Kuhn also added six points and a team-high seven rebounds in a losing effort.

The Knights converted on 47 percent of their shots from the floor on the afternoon, as they hit on 29 of their 61 attempts. On the flip side, SUNY-ESF was only able to drill 19 of their 75 attempts, with that output equating to a 25 percent conversion rate. Berkeley College dominated on the glass, out-rebounding the Mighty Oaks by a count of 51-31, and the Knights recorded 10 assists compared to just three for SUNY-ESF. The Mighty Oaks did win the turnover battle, committing just 12 miscues while forcing 20 Knights mistakes.

Berkeley College will return to action on Wednesday evening, as the Knights will take on the Lions of The King's College (NY) in a Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest. The game will take place at Baruch College, and start-time is scheduled for 7:00pm.

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Release courtesy of ESF Athletics

On the basketball court, the Mighty Oaks fell to conference rival and three-time USCAA defending national champs Berkeley College, 51-73.

Straight from the tip off, ESF came out on the attack, jumping ahead with an early 4-3 lead. The Knights and the Mighty Oaks traded baskets with Berkeley taking the lead, 15-8, with 15 minutes remaining. At that point Berkeley started to pull away building a 35-16 first half lead as they looked to squash ESF. ESF stormed back to cut the lead to 11, 37-26, thanks to a layup by freshman Zach Dormer with eight seconds remaining. Berkeley responded with a three-pointer by Demitri Stewart to end the half with a 40-26 lead.

At the start of the second half, the Mighty Oaks fed Berkeley two consecutive turnovers and a miss shot as the Knights were able to quickly extend their lead to 22 on a 11-0 opening half run. The Knights led by as many as 30 points which ultimately proved to be too much for the young ESF squad to overcome as Berkeley went on to win, 73-51. ESF would win the turnover battle, only committing 12 in the game versus 20 by the Knights. Cold shooting by ESF cost them a chance to stay in the game, shooting an ice cold 1-21 from behind the three-point line, 27 percent field-goal shooting overall. Dormer led all scorers with his aggressive play scoring 20 points off from 8-17 shooting, three rebounds and three steals. Stewart led four Knights who scored double-digits with 17 points.

"We felt that for the most part we held our own against the three-time defending champs Berkeley. Coach Pena and Christiansen have one of the best programs at our level and we look forward to the battle every year. We took care of the basketball against their relentless pressure which is a great positive for us as we focus on our remaining conference games as we look to qualify for the postseason again for a third straight year," said Head Coach Scott Blair.

Berkeley College improves to 17-1 overall, 3-0 in HVIAC conference play while ESF falls to 4-11 overall, 2-3 in conference play. The Mighty Oaks look to bounce back and will host conference rival Albany Pharmacy Jan. 31. The game will tip off 7 p.m. at Onondaga Community College's Allyn Gymnasium.