A hot-shooting University of Rochester team claimed the 2019 UR Chuck Resler Tournament title with a 75-52 win over Heidelberg University at the Louis Alexander Palestra on Saturday evening.
The win is Rochester's sixth straight tournament title and 23rd all-time in the tournament's history, coming in 35 appearances where a team champion was declared.
Tournament MVP Patrick Benka paced the Rochester men's basketball team with 15 points and 4 steals, sinking three 3-pointers as well. Ryan Algier finished with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks, while Kailan Lee was 3-3 from distance and ended with 11 points.
Overall, Rochester (3-0) shot 53% (27-51) from the floor and made half of their 22 3-point attempts. UR also got the job done defensively, especially in the second half holding the Student Princes (1-1) to 31% shooting in the final 20 minutes. For the game, Heidelberg shot 37% (20-54).
After trailing early 8-5, a Benka four-point play ignited a 12-2 run over the next three minutes giving Rochester a 17-10 lead five minutes into the game. Ross Gang, who joined Benka on the All-Tournament Team, added five points in 45 seconds to give UR the seven point cushion.
A minute later, Heidelberg started up its own 12-2 rally fueled by a Dylan Woods 3-pointer and seven points from Phariz Watkins to pull ahead by two. Woods led all Student Princes with 12 points and was one of Heidelberg's All-Tournament selections. He was joined by Alex Arellano who ended with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Shortly after the midway point of the half, Heidelberg went cold from the floor, missing nine straight attempts, allowing Rochester to surge to a 37-27 lead. UR held the Student princes without a bucket for over eight minutes. At the half, Rochester led by six, 39-33.
It was nearly a mirror image in the second half, as Heidelberg was 0-11 from the floor over a nine minute span, from the 11-minute mark on. Rochester's lead ballooned from seven to 28 over that time, with the Yellowjackets capping the run with three's from Eric Cannon, Lee and Benka.
Trent Noordsij chipped in eight points and six assists for the Yellowjackets while Brian Amabilino Perez scored 10 points and had five boards off the bench. UR ended with a 37-28 rebounding advantage and swatted eight blocks, most in a single-game since the 2009-10 season.
The schedule continues with another tournament next week with Rochester serving as the host of the annual Mark's Pizzeria Crosstown Shootout with local rivals RIT, St. John Fisher and Nazareth. The tournament runs Thursday and Saturday, with UR opening against St. John Fisher.