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January 15th, 2014

Hawks Edged by Oneonta



SUNY New Paltz Guard R.J. Rosa tallied a career-high-tying 20 points. Rosa also helped out with five rebounds and a career-high four blocks. Photo: Ed Diller
NEW PALTZ – A strong second half by SUNY Oneonta ultimately hurt the State University of New York at New Paltz men’s basketball on Saturday afternoon in State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) action, losing, 80-75, to the Red Dragons at the Hawk Center.

 New Paltz looked strong early, shooting 51.6 percent (16-of-31) from the floor in the first half en route to claiming a 42-36 halftime lead. A 9-0 Oneonta spurt early in the second half put the Red Dragons on top, however, and Oneonta staved off New Paltz down the stretch to capture the win.

 New Paltz drops to 4-7 overall and 1-3 in the SUNYAC. The Hawks next visit SUNY Oswego on Tuesday, Jan. 14, for an 8 p.m. tip-off. Oneonta rises to 6-5 overall and 3-1 in conference play. The Red Dragons contest SUNY Cortland on the road next on Tuesday at 8 p.m.

 The Hawks scored the first five points of the contest, but a 10-0 Red Dragon run about a quarter of the way through the first half gave Oneonta a five-point lead. After Oneonta’s sophomore forward Jackson Zuvic knotted the score at 21-all at 10:40 of the first half, New Paltz went on a 9-0 run, which was keyed by two three-pointers from graduate student guard Nick Taldi and one trey from sophomore forward Kevin Roach. New Paltz led by as many as 11—which occurred when freshman forward Andrew Seniuk dropped in a layup with just more than five minutes to go before halftime—but Oneonta netted eight unanswered points to pull within three. New Paltz eventually swelled the cushion back to seven on two occasions, and Oneonta’s junior guard Zach Mager provided the halftime score with a made free throw with 58 seconds remaining in regulation.

 Oneonta chipped away at the lead little by little and ended up taking it at 14:21 of the second half, and after a bucket by junior guard/forward Taylor Sowah gave the Hawks the lead back, sophomore guard Seth Thomsen reclaimed the advantage for the Red Dragons. Oneonta never trailed from that point forward and led by as many as nine in the second half.

 The Hawks shot 43.9 percent from the floor for the game, but that percentage was unable to match Oneonta’s 50 percent (26-of-52) clip from the field. The Red Dragons held a 38-35 edge in rebounds, and they shot 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from three-point range. New Paltz led in a number of specialty categories, outscoring Oneonta in the paint (38-32), off turnovers (20-12), off second-chance opportunities (23-10) and in bench points (19-9).

Sowah was the Hawks’ leading scorer with 21 points, while junior R.J. Rosa tallied a career-high-tying 20 points, along with five rebounds and a career-high four blocks. Senior Andrew Joseph paced New Paltz on the boards with nine rebounds and also handed out five assists.

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