Balanced Effort Leads Wildcats to Road Victory
LANCASTER, P.A. – The SUNYIT Men's Basketball Team (2-14, 1-5 NEAC) bid a welcome goodbye to a dubious streak on Friday, earning their first victory of the new year with a win over host Lancaster Bible College (3-11, 2-6 NEAC). Despite trailing at half, the Wildcats roared back to upend the Chargers 65-54.
With the win, SUNYIT snapped a nine-game losing streak, and they did it with teamwork, as the top four Wildcat scorers registered 14 points, 14 points, 14 points, and 13 points in their most balanced effort yet.
But if teamwork was half of the equation, guts made up the other half. The Chargers closed the first half with an 11-0 run to go up five, and the Wildcats headed to the locker room with looks of "Oh no, not again," upon their faces.
Rather than fold, however, the Wildcats banded together, erasing Lancaster's first half run with an 18-4 stretch of their own to grab a 41-32 lead.
The Chargers would pull to within five at one point, but SUNYIT kept their cool, promptly stretching the lead back to ten minutes later. Defense was paramount for the Wildcats, as they held Lancaster to just 15 points over the first 14:12 of the second half.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Wildcats were equally effective, shooting 49% from the field and 8 for 13 from behind the arc. Alex Grimmer (New Hartford, N.Y. / New Hartford), Sejad Gromilic (Bosnia / Utica-Proctor), and Ryan James (Saratoga Springs, N.Y. / Saratoga Springs) all tied for the team lead with 14 points apiece, each shooting 50% or better from the field. Grimmer grabbed a crucial 9 boards as well to lead SUNYIT, and picked the Chargers for 4 steals as well.
On the Charger side of the ball, the lone bright spot was Keith Keltner, who scored 17 points and grabbed 9 rebounds to lead Lancaster in both categories. Lancaster as a team shot just 33% from the field, and struggled mightily from long range in going 4 for 19.
The Wildcats have a week off and then return home for a date with Keuka on Saturday, January 28. Game time is set for 1:00 pm.