New Paltz Men's Basketball Grabs 86-81 Win over Buffalo State

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NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – A strong showing in the second half helped the State University of New York at New Paltz men's basketball team (9-13, 7-8 SUNYAC) edge Buffalo State (12-8, 7-7 SUNYAC), 86-81, on Friday afternoon in State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) action at the Hawk Center. The Hawks outrebounded the Bengals, 62-39, aiding the home team in overcoming 21 turnovers.

Both teams struggled shooting from the floor. New Paltz shot 39.2 percent (29-of-74) from the floor, while Buffalo State was 37.0 percent (30-of-81) from the field. The three ball eluded both teams, too, with the Bengals shooting 19.2 percent (5-of-26) from distance and the Hawks shooting 10.0 percent (2-of-20) from long range. New Paltz went 26-of-35 (74.3 percent) from the free-throw line, while Buffalo State went 16-of-21 (76.2 percent).

The Bengals led by as many as 10 in the first half—and took a 41-37 lead into the halftime intermission—but New Paltz came charging back in the second stanza. The Hawks drew within one four times in the early goings of the new period, and a made free-throw shot by senior forward Matt Devine (Manalapan, N.J./Freehold Township) knotted the score at 55-all at 13:47 of the second half. Buffalo State took the lead over once more for a few minutes, but the tide turned in favor of the Hawks after junior guard/forward Taylor Sowah (Bronx, N.Y./Miller Place) converted on an old-fashioned three-point play at 10:44 of the second half, drawing the foul on a made dunk and knocking down the continuation free throw.

The two teams traded points until back-to-back dunks by senior guard/forward Shereef Taylor (Hyde Park, N.Y./Franklin D. Roosevelt) gave the Hawks a five-point edge. Seth Runge knocked down a pair of free throws for Buffalo State to pull within three, but a 6-0 New Paltz run that was capped off by a Devine bucket gave the Hawks the momentum and forced a Bengal timeout. Buffalo State countered with a 5-0 scoring spree, but it was unable to get closer than four points down the stretch.

Taylor notched his fifth double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Devine also chipped in 20 points due in large part to his 11-of-16 showing at the free-throw line. Junior guard Andrew Joseph (High School of Art and Design) drained a career-high 16 points coming off the bench, while freshman forward Kevin Roach (Levittown, N.Y./MacArthur) added 11. Freshman forward Deveino McRae (Bronx, N.Y./Archbishop Stepinac) was a force in the paint, pulling down a game-high 16 boards.

For Buffalo State, Jake Simmons scored a game-high 31 points. Roderick Epps and Ryan Carney joined him in double figures with 15 and 10 points, respectively. Carney's 10 points came in 20 minutes of reserve duty. Runge had a solid all-around game, collecting nine points, seven rebounds and five blocks.

New Paltz looks to continue its playoff chase tomorrow, as it hosts SUNY Fredonia at 6 p.m.