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Basketball Team Wins Back-to-back Games

Team picks up its first conference win

The men's basketball team was in action the weekend of Jan. 16 and 17, going 2-0 in back-to-back games.

In the first game of the weekend, the Mighty Oaks faced USCAA rival Alfred State at home in a game that went down to the wire with ESF pulling away in a 67-62 victory.

The Mighty Oaks controlled the tempo for most of the first half. The Pioneers utilized their quickness by pressing ESF frequently but good ball movement by the Mighty Oaks broke the press on several occasions. ESF lead 38-33 at the half.

In the second half, despite several turnovers on offense, the Mighty Oaks defense held the Pioneers to only four points in the first eight minutes. Alfred State then went on an 8-0 run to pull within five points, 47-42, with 11 minutes remaining. ESF responded with back-to-back three-pointers by juniors Jared Bard and Ryan Caldwell and the Mighty Oaks pulled ahead, 53-45. Alfred State fought back to get within one point, 61-60, with two minutes remaining. That would be as close as they would get, however, as a put-back basket and clutch free throws by Caldwell sealed the win for the Mighty Oaks, 67-62.

Caldwell lead ESF with 18 points and 12 rebounds. The Mighty Oaks had a balanced scoring attack with four other players scoring double-digits (junior Dan Treadwell and sophomore Tyler Kuhn, with 10 points each; ad Bard and senior Sage Beemer, with 11 points each).

The following day, the Mighty Oaks traveled to Hyde Park, Neew York, to face the Steels of Culinary Institute of America in their first HVIAC conference game. After one half, ESF lead 34-28. In a high-scoring second half, the Mighty Oaks were able to hold on for the 77-72 win in their first conference victory of the season. The Mighty Oaks held the Steels to 34 percent shooting. With Bard sidelined by an injury, freshman Andrew Koch came off the bench and erupted for a career-high 22 points, including four three-pointers. Caldwell chipped in 11 points and nine rebounds. Beemer added 11 points and nine rebounds.

"The team is coming together at the right time," said ESF Head Coach Scott Blair. With the two wins, ESF improves to 3-11 overall, 1-0 in HVIAC conference play. The Mighty Oaks will play next on the road Jan. 24 against conference rival Albany Pharmacy.