Hot Shooting SUNYIT Fends Off Late Utica Rally
SUNYIT 102, Utica 98 - Box Score
Utica, N.Y. (12/6/2011) - Visiting SUNYIT shot an impressive 75% (12-of-16) from 3-point land in the first half on its way to a 102-98 victory over cross-town rival Utica College Tuesday night on the hardwood at the Clark Athletic Center. The Pioneers (3-3) trailed by as many as 23 points mid-way through the second half but made a late charge and outscored the Wildcats 44-25 in the final 11:47 to make it a close game.
SUNYIT, led by Utica natives Sejad Gromilic and T'Andre Richardson, won its first contest of the season. Gromilic scored a career-high 31 points (7-of-9 shooting from 3-point), while Richardson added 28 points and nine rebounds.
The Pioneers were led by Jeff Ward's 28 point and 12 rebound effort, while senior swingman Reggie German netted a career-best 21 points and snagged six rebounds. Junior Matt Baldwin chipped in with 17 points and four assists, while sophomore two-sport athlete Chris Jeffers provided a nice spark off the bench once again by scoring eight points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
The first 8:25 of the contest featured six ties until the visitors used an 18-8 run in span of 5:48 to take a ten point lead, 38-28, with 5:47 to go in the first half of play. SUNYIT knocked down 4-of-6 3-pointers in the final 3:21 of the first half to take a 52-39 lead into the locker room at the half.
In the first three minutes of the second half the Wildcats remained hot and went on a 13-4 run to take a 22-point lead, 65-43, after a Richardson dunk forced the Pioneers to take an early timeout to regroup. Utica slowly chipped away at the lead and used a 15-4 run in a span of 3:02 late in the second half as the Pioneer found themselves trailing by just eight points, 88-80, with 3:51 to go. It seemed as if SUNYIT had every answer in the final two minutes of play and the Wildcats were able to convert on 8-of-10 free throws in the final 52 seconds to seal the two point victory.
Utica native Walkery Mills, who was teammates at nearby Proctor High School with Richardson and Gromilic this time last year, netted nine points and grabbed eight rebounds off the bench for UC. Alex Meyer netted four points and grabbed eight rebounds, while freshman point guard Aaron Nevins totaled eight assists and five points.
Justin Brignola totaled 19 points and eight assists for SUNYIT and Derek Rowe added nine points and nine rebounds.
The Pioneers return to action on Friday night when they travel to the RIT Invitational to take on Gwynedd-Mercy College in the opening game of the tournament at 6 p.m.
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