ALFRED, NY – The Alfred University men's basketball team won its second in a row on Friday night with a victory over Utica College. The Saxons improved to 2-0 in the Empire 8 and 9-2 overall with the 74-64 win.
AU was in the driver's seat from the tip, taking a 10-2 lead after four minutes of play. A jumper from Cole Eells (Ithaca, NY/ Ithaca) and a Sam Dagon (Hornell, NY/ Hornell) fast break layup extended the Saxon lead to 12 with 8:46 to play in the first half.
Utica Turnovers late in the half led to more fast break opportunities for Alfred which they took advantage of with a couple of nice feeds from Scotty Stopera (Scotia, NY/Scotia-Glenville) to Marshall Brewster (Horseheads, NY/Horseheads) for easy buckets in the paint. A buzzer beater tip in for Utica off of a missed three point try made the score 38-28 in favor of AU at the break.
The Saxons came storming out of the locker room into the second half with a 9-2 run to push the lead to 17. Dom LeMorta (Scotia, NY/Scotia-Glenville) helped pad the lead with a mid-range jumper and a three.
The Saxons held a comfortable lead for a majority of the second half, which the teams split evenly 36-36. Three straight triples for Utica in the middle portion of the half cut the lead down to just eight but late free throw makes for the Saxons helped to secure the 10 point victory.
"Really happy with the defensive effort today," Head Coach Russell Phillips said. "Guys did a great job guarding the ball and protecting the rim. We know that has to be our calling card consistently to compete in the empire 8."
LeMorta led the Alfred scoring with 18 points on 7-15 shooting. Elliot Bowen (Salamanca, NY/Ellicottville) had 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Dagon scored 10 while Stopera had seven points, six assists and three steals. As a team the Saxons shot 51 percent from the field compared to Utica's 36 percent.
AU will be back at home tomorrow afternoon for an Empire 8 matchup with Hartwick at 4PM.