By Brian Savard
FREDONIA – Freshman forward Deveino McRae made quite an impact in his first State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) game in a Hawk uniform, as he led the SUNY New Paltz men’s basketball team (3-2, 1-0 SUNYAC) to a 92-87 double-overtime victory over SUNY Fredonia (2-3, 0-1 SUNYAC) on Friday evening at Steele Hall.
McRae shot 10-of-11 en route to a game-high 23 points. He also grabbed 17 rebounds. Senior forward Matt Devine had 22 points - 12 off three-pointers - while senior guard/forward Shereef Taylor and senior guard Shalik Jenkins chipped in 16 points apiece.
For Fredonia, Tyrone Clark netted a team-high 22 points, while Joe Monahan and Amir Billups contributed 21 and 15 points, respectively.
Fredonia controlled the tempo throughout much of the first half. The Blue Devils closed the period on a 23-14 run to take a 39-32 advantage into the locker room.
Following a strong second half start, New Paltz led by as many as seven but couldn’t create separation down the stretch. After Matt Deboy made a layup in the paint with 51 seconds left in regulation, the Blue Devils tied the score at 66-all. A McRae layup gave the visitors a 68-66 edge with 23 ticks remaining, but a foul by Devine sent Clark to the line, and he knocked down a pair of freebies to send the game into overtime. When the score remained tied after the extra frame, the game moved to a second overtime period.
Devine opened the scoring with a three-pointer. A technical foul gave the Blue Devils three free throws, and that tied the score at 85-all. After Jenkins hit a three with 47 seconds left to push the New Paltz lead to three, Clark misfired with 14 seconds left, and a defensive rebound by Jenkins all but sealed the Hawks’ win.