By Amy Whitman
BROCKPORT — The State University of New York at New Paltz was victorious over another conference competitor Saturday, holding on to the lead against the Brockport Golden Eagles, taking home the 67-55 win. This is the first time SUNY New Paltz has been victorious against Brockport in the competitors’ last three matchups.
Brockport was first on the board, but the Hawks would go on a small offensive run to start the game, scoring seven points in a row, punctuated with two made free throws from A.J. Knight making the score 7-2. Later in the quarter, Solomon Neuhaus came off the bench ready to make an impact, as he scored a layup, sunk a three and assisted Blondo for a jumper after getting subbed in. Dakoda Smith followed with a layup, and Neuhaus sunk yet another jumper, putting the Hawks up 22-8. After a few back-and-forth possessions, Tyreik Frazier slam-dunked an assist from Sean St. Lucia, extending the Hawks’ lead to 13 with less than five minutes remaining in the first half. Brockport was able to score a few more points, but SUNY New Paltz was leading 31-20 going into halftime.
Going into the second, Brockport intended to cut down the score deficit. The Golden Eagles scored four points in less than two minutes before a floater from Knight ended the Hawks’ scoring drought. Blondo put three free throws in, followed by a layup from Kobe Bogart and another field goal by Blondo himself, putting the Hawks up 16. Brockport began to chip away at SUNY New Paltz’s lead, eventually shortening the deficit to six points after going on an eight-point run, the score reading 52-46. Blondo sank two key free throws and Frazier layed one in to keep the Hawks’ lead comfortable — until the Golden Eagles responded with four points made in a row. Afterwards, SUNY New Paltz scored some crucial baskets, including a dunk by Frazier, a layup by Blondo and two made free throws from Knight to solidify the win. The game ended with a score of 67-55 in the Hawks’ favor.
“It was a solid overall team win, we got a lot of contributions from different players,” commented Coach Keith Kenney. “Our defense was outstanding and we had just enough offense to get through.”
Blondo led the team in points (17) and rebounds (11). Neuhaus had a season-high 14 points, followed by Knight and Frazier with 11 points each. Sean St. Lucia led in assists with seven and gathered nine rebounds.
“We handled their pressure well and stuck to our game plan — we bent a little bit late but did not break,” Kenney noted. “[It’s] always good to start the year with two road conference wins, so a very successful weekend.”