Tahaij Lewis (Rochester/Greece Olympia) made a lay-up with 16 seconds left after getting a feed from Josh Reding (Spencerport) as Alfred State defeated SUNY Delhi 74-73 in a intense battle played in front of a loud crowd at the Orvis Activities Center on Saturday. The Pioneers have now won four straight and are 13-10 on the year.
The contest featured 12 lead changes and eight ties. Early on Alfred State led 13-9 early and led by as many as 11, 38-27, with just under three minutes left in the half. The Broncos responded and ended the half on a 10-2 run to trail by only three, 40-37 at the half.
Lewis led the team with 12 points in the 1st half while Ryan Gentile (Spencerport) connected on 3 three-pointers and had nine.
Delhi came out hot in the 2nd half and went on a 15-8 run to build their biggest lead of the game, 52-48, with just over 13 minutes left in the contest. The Pioneers fought back and retook the lead by as many as five, 67-62, with six minutes remaining. William Knight hit five straight foul shots to tie the game and Delhi continued their run by scoring six of the next eight points to lead 73-69 with 1:53 remaining.
After a defensive stop as the game approached the final minute, Juwan Toliver (Buffalo/McKinley) found Reding in the corner and he was able to bury a three to cut the lead to one. Delhi turned the ball over on their next possession setting up the winning basket as Reding drove the lane and found Lewis for the game-winning shot. Delhi raced past half court and took their final timeout with 13.1 seconds. Following the timeout, the Broncos had three chances to win the game but Kevin Goode (Rochester/Bishop Kearney) pulled down the board in the final second to seal the victory.
Lewis scored another 11 points and grabbed six boards in the 2nd half while Dante Jordan (New York/Law & Public) added eight. Goode hit a pair of three-pointers as the Pioneers were 4 for 9 from beyond the arc in the half.
Lewis finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds while Jordan and Gentile both finished with 12. The Pioneers shot 44.1% from the field (26 for 59), 50% from three (11 for 22), and 73.3% from the foul line (11 for 15). The Pioneers held a 44 to 28 advantage on the boards but were slowed down by 17 turnovers.
Knight connected was 5 for 7 from three and led the Broncos (14-10) with 22 points. Justin Daoud finished with 15, Norman Wilson had 11, and Payton Dean added 10.
Prior to the game, the men's basketball team honored six graduating seniors, Lewis, Toliver, Jordan, Tyrone Freeman (Bronx/Wings Academy), Will Rollison (Buffalo/Middle Early College), and Marcus Rhett (Middletown), in a pre-game ceremony.
Both Alfred State and SUNY Delhi will play in the ACAA Tournament which begins in two weeks (2/23) at Alfred State. The Pioneers will take on Thomas More (KY) in the first semifinal followed by Delhi taking on Pine Manor (MA) College.
The Pioneers have a pair of home games next week to wrap up the regular season. They first take on Villa Maria on Wednesday looking to continue their winning ways.