SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Brendan O'Shea and Alexander Gamble both enjoyed career shooting nights as the University of Rochester posted a 77-66 victory over Union College at the Viniar Athletic Center on Wednesday evening.
O'Shea scored 19 points, hitting 3-3 outside the arc and 10-12 at the foul line. Gamble scored 16 points, 4-5 outside the arc and 6-7 from the field overall. Between them, they played 43 minutes off the bench. O'Shea logged 25 minutes, Gamble played 18.
The victory boosted Rochester to 5-1 overall. The Yellowjackets are ranked #15 in the D3hoops.com men's poll. Union slipped to 2-2.
Rochester and Union met twice last season – once in the regular season (a 77-58 Rochester win at the Louis Alexander Palestra) and in the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs – at the Palestra in March. Rochester won the NCAA game, 82-60, to advance to the Sweet 16.
Overall, the Yellowjackets put together their best shooting performance of the season. UR sank 23 of 44 from the floor (.523) and 14 of 25 outside the arc (.560).
Rochester needed that production. Union hit .357 from the floor (20-56) and .296 outside the arc (8-27), but Dutchmen shooters were nearly flawless at the line (.947 18-19). Kevin Weckworth scored 19 points for Union and Greg King had 11.
This was back and forth through the first half. Rochester scored the first nine points (two treys from Tucker Knox got UR going) in four minutes. Union answered with a 15-3 run to establish a 15-12 lead midway through the period. Neither team could get much extension after that. King made two free throws in the last minute of the first half after drawing the second foul on O'Shea.
Union led for the last time, 39-37, on Garrett Johnson's layup with 14:22 to play in the second half. Michael Mangan hit a three-pointer and Knox followed with his third of the evening to stake Rochester to a lead it would not lose.
The Dutchmen nibbled: Johnson sank a three to get within 48-46, but Knox capped off his double-figure night (11 pts.) with a layup. That got it back to four. O'Shea made one free throw, then hit a trey 18 seconds later for a 54-46 edge. The lead was still eight, 62-54, after one Weckworth free throw. Gamble hit a pair of threes 35 seconds apart and that stretched the margin to 14, 68-54, at 4:36. O'Shea made four free throws and Mangan hit one of two in the last 30 seconds to protect the lead which shrunk as low as 72-66 with 0:54 on the clock.