ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Four men scored in double figures to lead the University of Rochester to a 73-54 victory over Bard College in the opening round of the 2017-18 Chuck Resler Invitational Tournament at the Louis Alexander Palestra on Friday night.
Michael Mangan and Jacob Wittig scored 16 points apiece for the Yellowjackets Brendan O'Shea had 11 points and Ryan Clamage scored 10. UR shot 40% from the field for the game, 43% in the first 20 minutes.
Jelanie Bel-Isaac led Bard with 11 points, six rebounds, and three steals in 25 minutes. Alijah Rue scored nine points with six boards.
The win puts Rochester into Saturday's championship game versus Utica College. The Pioneers squeezed out a 76-72 victory over The College of New jersey. Joe Stortini led Utica with 23 points and Tyler Jollie had 14, including four of five shots outside the arc. Randy Walko scored 22 points for TCNJ. Eric Murdock, Jr. added 15 (8 of 11 at the line) and Elias Bermudez had 10. TCNJ and Bard will play for third place at 3 pm.
It was the season opener for all four clubs. Rochester is ranked No. 16 by D3hoops.com. The Yellowjackets are 1-0 as is Utica. Bard and TCNJ are both 0-1.
Rochester's offense got going with the arrival of O'Shead early in the first half. He made a backdoor layup from Wittig, then sank a pair of three-point goals, one from each side of the key. Those boosted Rochester's lead to 14-3 in the first nine minutes.
Bard couldn't find an offensive flow. The Raptors trailed by as many as 19 points in the first half (32-13 after Mangan hit a 12 footer in the lane) and were down, 34-16, at halftime. Bard sank only 4 of 29 in the first half, 11 of 12 from distance. The Raptors shot better in the second half (41%), but the deficit was too big to overcome.
Emmanuel Oyakhilome had two blocked shots and eight points for Bard. David Runcie had three steals and two assists to accompany six points and four rebounds.
For Rochester, Wittig hit 7 of 11 floor shots, had six assists, and three steals. Mangan was 5 of 7 from the floor, including a three-pointer. Tucker Knox had a game-high nine rebounds and blocked two shots to go along with six points.