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Pioneers Close Out Regular Season with Victory

Ryan stops and pops at the free throw line

The Alfred State men's basketball team closed out the regular season with a 67-56 victory over Green Mountain (VT) College. The Pioneers head to the postseason with a 14-11 overall record and have won five of their last six.

The blue & gold started fast and grabbed a 11-5 lead just six minutes into the game. The Eagles cut the lead to 24-22 late in the half but Alfred State responded with a 9-2 run and held a 33-24 advantage at the break. Ryan Gentile (Spencerport) and Tyrone Freeman (Bronx/Wings Academy) both hit a pair of three-pointers and finished with eight in the half. Damon Ballantyne had seven to lead Green Mountain.

Green Mountain grabbed the lead six minutes into the 2nd half and lead by as many as three, 40-37. The game went back and forth until the Pioneers went on a 11-0 run to grab the lead for good. They pushed the lead to as many as 13 in the final minute of the game. Tahaij Lewis (Rochester/Greece Olympia) led the Pioneers with 10 points and five boards in the half while Sean Leflore had 11 for the Eagles.

Lewis recorded another double-double as he finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks. Gentile had 14 and Juwan Toliver (Buffalo/McKinley) finished with 10. The Pioneers shot 39.2% from the field (20 for 51) for the game, 27.6% from three (8 for 29), and 76% from the foul line (19 for 25).

Leflore and Duane Goodman both had 11 points to lead the Eagles (18-8). Green Mountain shot 33.3% from the floor (20 for 60), 25% from three (6 for 24), and 71.4% from the foul line (10 for 14). GMC held a 41 to 34 advantage on the boards but were slowed down by 15 turnovers.

The Pioneers will next host the American Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament. Alfred State is the #4 seed and will face #1 Thomas More (KY) in the first semifinal of the men's session. Opening tip-off is at 5 p.m. and will be followed by #2 SUNY Delhi taking on #3 Pine Manor.

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