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Men's Basketball Team Drops Two Games at Hamilton Invitational

Defensive prevails but ultimately turnovers hurt Mighty Oaks

The men's basketball team lost two close games at the 2014 Hamilton College Invitational held on Nov. 29-30.

In its first game, the Mighty Oaks faced the Saints of St. Lawrence College. Immediately, both teams set the pace for a slow, defensive battle. Neither team was able to get any points on the board until a layup by junior Sage Beemer broke the ice cold shooting almost four minutes into the game giving ESF its first points. Both teams continued to spar back and forth. Senior Danny MacElrath's jumper gave ESF a 14-13 advantage with roughly five minutes left in the opening half. The Saints ended the first half with a mini run going up 24-17.

In the second half, the scoring pace picked up. The Mighty Oaks would not go away, hanging around within six-to-eight points for most of the second half. However two key free throws by Saint Lawrence pushed the lead to 55-43 with five minutes remaining in the game. The Mighty Oaks countered with a full-court press but the Saints were able to pull away with a 70-52 win.

The Mighty Oaks put forth a strong defensive effort holding the Saints to 36 percent shooting and only 13 percent shooting from the three-point line. It was the 25 turnovers and 10-21 from the charity line that robbed ESF of the win. MacElrath and Beemer lead the Mighty Oaks with 10 points a piece. Freshman center Tyler Kuhn continued his strong play with nine points and 10 rebounds.

In the consolation game, the Mighty Oaks faced SUNY Polytechnic Institute (formerly SUNY-IT). The Mighty Oaks again came out with strong defense as the Wildcats struggled with its shooting most of the first half as ESF went into halftime with a 36-31 lead.

In the second half the Mighty Oaks lead by as many as 11 points with nine minutes to play. The Wildcats then turned the tables and went on a 20-5 run to take its first lead with only eight seconds remaining in the game. The Wildcats converted two free throws off an ESF turnover to pull ahead by three points ultimately winning the game 58-62. Senior Suthod Young lead the Mighty Oaks with 16 points and six rebounds. Sophomore Ryan Caldwell chipped in 10 points and Freshman center Tyler Kuhn finished with nine points and six rebounds.

The Mighty Oaks fall to 1-7 and look to get a win against Albany Pharmacy at home Dec. 6.