Endicott Suffers Heartbreak in NCAA First Round
OSWEGO, N.Y. – The Endicott men's basketball team looked to be on their way to a victory in their NCAA first round matchup with Oswego State University, but were left in despair as the Lakers forced overtime and then sealed a 72-71 win. The Gulls played their hearts out but became the fifth Endicott team to fall in their quest for a first round NCAA victory.
Junior guard Lance Greene (Dorchester, Mass.) led Endicott with 21 points, while seniors Aaron Karkow (Uncasvile, Conn.) and Erik Callo (Southington, Conn.) each scored in double-digits in their last game in a Gull uniform.
Endicott led by as many as 14 points in the second half and continued to lead until Oswego State tied the game with 1:03 left to play. Senior Chad Burridge (Hannibal, N.Y.), who led all scorers with 30 points, scored 18 in the second half and the Laker's only six points in the extra session. Burridge's dunk with six seconds to play gave Oswego State a four point lead, and though Endicott sophomore Tyler Burkhart (Cromwell, Conn.) nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer, Endicott's effort came up one point short.
The Gulls opened the second half on a 7-0 run, extending their lead to 45-33 on a 3-pointer by sophomore Lachlan Magee (Melbourne, Australia), one of two he hit in the half and one of seven in the game for Endicott, who shot 53.8 percent from downtown. Magee and guard Lance Greene (Dorchester, Mass.) each scored 10 points in the second half, with Magee finishing the night with 12 points.
With Endicott up 56-32 with 13 minutes to play, the Lakers began their uphill climb back into the game. Oswego State got the lead down to eight points on a layup by senior guard Sean Michele (East Rochester, N.Y.) and then went on a 9-2 run to pull within three-points, capped by a three-pointer by Michele with 4:00 left to play. Michele was 4-10 from behind the line and shot 7-13 from the field, scoring 19 points, eleven of them after halftime.
The Lakers were on the verge of victory at the end of regulation when, with the game tied at 66, Oswego forward Hayden Ward (Montauk, N.Y.) drew a foul with no time left on the clock. Ward, an 80 percent free-throw shooter this season, missed both attempts, giving Endicott a second life.
Ward, who scored 18 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the Oswego victory, gave the Gulls trouble in the first half, teaming with Burridge to fill the lane and create easy layups. The Lakers led by five points with 12 minutes to play in the first half, a 17-12 advantage that would eventually amount to their biggest lead in the game. Chad Burridge and Hayden Ward each had 12 points, with Ward grabbing nine rebounds before the break.
Ward finished the first half strong as well, scoring the last eight points for Oswego State, who pulled within four points, 37-33 at halftime.
Endicott got their noses first in front when Karkow found his touch from behind the three-point line. The senior forward drilled two straight threes to give Endicott its first leads, 18-17 and then a 21-20 advantage at the 9:30 minute mark. Endicott extended that lead when Karkow was fouled taking a three and drained all his free-throws, then buried another trey with just under 2:30 minutes to play. Karkow finished with 14 points on the night, on 4-9 shooting. He was a perfect 3-3 from behind the three-point line and from the free-throw line.
Callo added 12 points, ten of them in the first half, and led the Gulls with 14 rebounds, helping them to a 42-37 advantage on the boards.
Endicott shot 43 percent from the floor and made 12-15 free-throws, while the hosts made only 50% (11-22) from the free-throw line. The Gulls turned the ball over 20 times, to just 9 miscues by Oswego State.
Oswego (26-3) will move on to the second round of the NCAA and will play Eastern Connecticut State on Saturday at 7:00 pm. The Warriors defeated Medaille College in the night's first game.