NEW PALTZ – Junior guard/forward Taylor Sowah scored a career-high 35 points, but the State University of New York at New Paltz men’s basketball team was unable to overcome a hot-shooting SUNY Fredonia squad, as the Hawks fell, 93-83, in a State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) game Saturday afternoon at the Hawk Center.
New Paltz, which entered halftime down six at 42-36, surged to start the second stanza, posting an 8-0 run that was capped off by a layup by graduate student guard Nick Taldi. The two teams traded baskets until Fredonia went on a 9-0 spurt, and the Blue Devils would not relinquish the lead the rest of the way. Fredonia led by no fewer than six points from that point forward and led by as many as 12.
New Paltz drops to 6-16 overall and 3-12 in the SUNYAC. The Hawks next square off with SUNY Oneonta on Friday, Feb. 14, at 8 p.m. and play each of their final three games of the season on the road. Fredonia rises to 6-15 overall and 3-11 in the SUNYAC. The Blue Devils host a pair of SUNYAC games next weekend, beginning on Friday, Feb. 14, at 8 p.m. against SUNY Geneseo.
Fredonia held the upper hand early, jumping out to leads of 14-4 and 17-6. A 10-2 New Paltz spurt, however, pulled the Hawks within three at 19-16 after Sowah dropped in a layup. After the Blue Devils pushed the advantage to 11, the Hawks closed the first half on a 5-0 scoring spree.
Fredonia shot 51.8 percent (29-of-56) from the field for the game, including 30.8 percent (4-of-13) from three-point range. The Blue Devils’ attack was aided greatly by its ability to knock down free throws, as Fredonia shot 86.1 percent (31-of-36) from the charity stripe. New Paltz dominated the boards, finishing with a 41-28 margin in rebounds.
Beyond Sowah’s 35 points—which he achieved off 16-of-26 shooting from the floor and 3-of-8 shooting from the free-throw line—Taldi scored 14 points, while senior guard Andrew Joseph netted 12. Joseph completed the double-double with a game-high 12 rebounds, eight of which came on the offensive end of the floor. Sophomore guard Keegan Donovan dished out a game-high-tying five assists coming off the bench.
For Fredonia, senior guard/forward Tyrone Clark tied Sowah for the game-high in points with 35, while sophomore guard Robert Lyles, sophomore forward John Kovach and senior center/forward Markus Williams joined him in double figures with 26, 13 and 11 points, respectively. Williams posted three blocks, while Lyles distributed five assists.