It was a banner day for New York City’s mid-majors last night as they rung in the New Year with style. All five schools in action pulled out victories. It was an impressive display of how far some of these young teams have developed.
Wagner 64, Santa Clara 62 — The closest game of the night was a barn-burner of a road victory for the Seahawks. Kenneth Ortiz hit the game winning put-back as time expired to give Wagner the Cable Car Classic championship. Wagner is now 10-3 on the season. Ortiz scored eight points, including that game-winner, but he also grabbed 12 rebounds. Latif Rivers scored 17 and Jonathan Williams, playing near his hometown, scored 13. Wagner had 18 offensive rebounds in the win. The Seahawks’ next two games in NEC play are at Fairleigh Dickinson and Monmouth and are two games they should win convincingly, even on the road.
Columbia 77, Lafayette 67 — The Lions actually trailed 48-37 at the half, but held the Leopards to 19 second half points in order to get the victory. For the game Columbia allowed 67 points in 61 possessions, so the defense that was there before the break still hasn’t shown up for 40 minutes. Still, those second half numbers should make Lions fans happy. Columbia still has three non-conference games remaining against Fairleigh Dickinson, Colgate and Elon before Ivy League play begins. Brian Barbour had a great game for Columbia in the comeback with 21 points (on nine shots), seven assists and five rebounds. Meiko Lyles had 17 points for the Lions.
Stony Brook 79, Rider 62 — Certainly check out Moore’s recap linked above. The Seawolves actually got some offense last night scoring an unheard of (for them at least) 1.29 points per possession. That’s SBU’s best offensive performance of the season, including the game against Mount Ida. The Seawolves built their good offense with few turnovers (seven, compared to 11 offensive rebounds) and decent (7-21) shooting from three-point range. Four players scored in double-figures, led by Dave Coley’s 16 points, and Tommy Brenton had nine points and 12 rebounds. Stony Brook did all that with Bryan Dougher scoring only 14 points on 3-10 shooting from the field.
Manhattan 94, Binghamton 54 — There’s a reason that the Bearcats are now 0-12. They’re a young team that just can’t handle pressure that a team like Manhattan brings to the table. Binghamton turned the ball over 15 times and shot 15-50 (30%) from the field as Manhattan rolled to victory. George Beamon led the Jaspers with 19 points and eight rebounds. Eleven players scored for Manhattan. The Jaspers restart MAAC play with a game against Rider on Monday.