The University of Rochester men's basketball team posted a huge second half, doubling up visiting SUNY Geneseo to post a 91-67 victory on Tuesday evening at the Louis Alexander Palestra.
Rochester, ranked #17 in the latest Division III basketball poll, moves to 7-0 on the season. Geneseo falls to 3-4 on the year after dropping its third straight contest.
The Yellowjackets combined to outscore the Knights 44-22 in the second half, breaking opening a tight contest which saw UR hold just a two point lead at intermission. Rochester had an excellent night shooting as well, making 58% from the floor (34-59), 54% from 3-point range (14-26) and 100% from the free throw line (9-9).
UR was led by Jacob Wittig who scored 15 points and added seven assists. Ryan Clamage had 13 points while Brendan O'Shea scored a season-high 13 as well. Kailan Lee added 11 on 4-of-4 shooting as did Andrew Lundstrom. Overall 12 players scored and over half of Rochester points, 46 of 91, came from the Yellowjacket bench.
Alexander Gamble also added nine points on 4-4 shooting and Trent Noordsij chipped in seven with a team-high five rebounds.
Geneseo's leading scorer was Zack Panebianco who had 19 points, 17 of which came in the opening 20 minutes. Alex Merhige added 12 points as the only other Knights player in double-digits. Terrance Nichols, Geneseo's top scorer entering Tuesday at over 19 points per game, was held to just three points on the night.
After trailing early 5-4, Geneseo sparked an 8-2 run, with three pointers by Nichols and Michael Gannon to grab a five point cushion a quarter of the way through the first half. The Knights would hold the lead until the five minute mark when a six-point Yellowjacket burst, four from Clamage, allowed the hosts to go up 33-31.
The teams traded baskets down the stretch of the opening half, with Joseph Harclerode banking in a jumper at the first half horn to send the Knights to the locker room down two at 47-45.
The Yellowjacket started the second half on a 13-4 run, thanks in part to a trio of 3-pointers and some cold shooting by Geneseo. Over the opening six minutes, the Knights shot just 1-9 from the floor, letting UR build its first double-digit lead of the game.
A Harclerode tip-in and free throw cut the lead back to eight with 12:50 to play, but Rochester then scored 21 of the next 25 points to bust open the contest. The Yellowjackets made four of five 3-pointers in the stretch, with Lundstrom, Lee, O'Shea and Michael Mangan all sinking shots from distance.
Geneseo never got within 15 points for the rest of the game until Stephen Walter hit a 3-pointer with under 10 seconds remaining.
Rochester's game begins a busy seven-day stretch for the Yellowjackets, playing four games over the next week to close out the opening semester. UR plays at St. John Fisher on Thursday evening at 8 pm on the opening day of play in the Mark's Pizzeria Crosstown Shootout. Afterwards, Rochester plays against Nazareth (at SJFC) on Saturday and then travels to Ithaca College next Tuesday.