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Men's Basketball misses chance to close gap to 1st

by Panagiotis Argitis
Tue, Feb 6th 2018 09:00 pm

Rebounding back from two consecutive losses to division superpowers is by no means an easy feat, but The College at Brockport men’s basketball team isn’t phased by much. After falling to Plattsburgh and Cortland this past weekend, the team bounced back with two straight wins against Oswego and Fredonia. Unfortunately, the Golden Eagles lost their chance of going 11—4 in the conference standings after a loss to Geneseo, leaving Brockport with an overall season record of 15—6 and a conference record of 10—4.

 With the first round of the SUNYAC tournament right around the corner, the Golden Eagles know they will need to capitalize against inferior teams in order to gather the most victories they can possibly get before the climb to the championship trophy, and it shows. 

Coming up against a 3—16 struggling Fredonia over this past week was a breeze for Brockport, as the team recorded a double-digit win of 73 to 55 after a relentless display of team basketball and hustle. 

The match was held on Tuesday, Jan. 30, at Fredonia, and it proved to be a competitive one for the first half, with the home-court team hungry for a victory after failing to win at home all season. Fredonia started the game off on a good run, leading by six to nothing after the first three minutes of play. Despite his effort to hold on to the lead, Brockport’s sophomore power forward Justin Summers demonstrated his complete rising star status by putting up six points, one rebound and one block in 10 minutes, helping Brockport close the first half to a tied margin of 30-30. Fredonia’s poor season showing of defense came to light in the second half as the Golden Eagles managed to comfortably sink buckets from every direction, outscoring the Blue Devils 43 to 25 during the second frame of the game. Brockport’s offensive game was outstanding, and apart from senior point guard Hamed Shamseldin and Summers’ double-digit point night of 26 and 18, Brockport’s bench also helped, outscoring Fredonia’s bench by 20 points.

 The Golden Eagles’ victory against Fredonia marked its tenth conference win, but their number of conference loses increased to four last weekend following a hard loss of 105 to 78 to the Geneseo Knights. 

Brockport played against Geneseo on Saturday, Feb. 3, at Geneseo. With both teams fighting to clinch a spot in the SUNYAC tournament week in and week out, the fixture proved for a very entertaining game. Brockport and Geneseo traded buckets for the first couple minutes of the game, but that all changed when Geneseo started containing Brockport’s star point guard Shamseldin. The guard had a hard time finding open looks for his teammates which hurt Brockport’s offensive flow, giving Geneseo’s shooters a chance to light up the scoreboard. Geneseo didn’t hesitate to get things rolling, and the team headed into the second half with a 20 point lead. The Knights completely outscored the Green and Gold during the second half, scoring an impressive 57.1 percent in comparison to Brockport’s 43.8 percent which, in result, handed them a comfortable win of 105 to 78. 

The match against Geneseo perfectly showcased the recent struggle that Brockport has been facing when Shamseldin was picked out as the target for opposing defenses. 

Shamseldin’s offensive prowess has been one of the key factors behind Brockport’s success this year, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed, especially from the opposing competition. Teams like Cortland and Geneseo have pinpointed the guard’s ability to create and hit shots as Brockport’s biggest threat, resulting in triple-team defense against the guard, which has undoubtedly had an effect in Brockport’s capability to close out games. 

“We need to work as a team and clear the floor in order for Shamseldin to provide us with good looks,” freshman guard Michael Pavinelli said. “If we keep working on our spacing more clear lane chances for offensive minded players like Shamseldin will create themselves.” 

Looking forward in the schedule, the Golden Eagles have some important matches before they look to take revenge on the Cortland Red Dragons following their heartbreaking loss last weekend. Brockport faces Oneonta and New Paltz next weekend, two teams that will be looking for a spot in the playoffs. 

“We need to treat each of the remaining six games as a one-game playoff,” associate head coach Joe Clarke said. “Each game is important, especially games on the road (for us, three out of the last five). If our team chemistry continues to be great and our effort is there, we will be a tough team to play come playoff time.”

The Golden Eagles will look to use what they learned from their past couple of games in order to come out on top of Oneonta and New Paltz. Brockport’s next games are both at home. The team is playing against Oneonta on Friday, Feb. 9, and against New Paltz on Saturday, Feb. 10.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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