A pair of ECC games kicked off a jam-packed weekend in the region, highlighted by a clash between the conference's top two teams:
DAEMEN 89 MOLLOY 75
Andrew Sischo amassed 36 points (16-26 FG) and 16 rebounds (11 on the offensive end), powering #20 Daemen past Molloy at Quealy Gym, avenging its only league loss and taking over first place in the ECC. The redshirt sophomore center matched his career high in scoring (also set against the Lions almost exactly a year ago in Buffalo), notching 14 of his points in the opening eight minutes as the Wildcats snagged their seventh consecutive victory, and impressive 13th straight road triumph in league play dating back to last season. Daemen – which also received a baker’s dozen apiece from Jay Sarkis, Breon Harris (3-5 from long range) and Jeff Redband (career-high 11 rebounds) – used a 22-6 run in extending a 24-19 lead to 46-25 en route to a 50-30 halftime cushion. The margin maxed out at 57-35 after a pair of Sischo free throws just over four minutes into the second half before Mike Torre (11 points, six rebounds) drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to instigate a 29-14 surge and draw the hosts within 71-64 at the 6:04 mark. It was still a seven-point divide (77-70) after a 3-ball by younger brother Steve Torre (nine points on perfect 3-of-3 shooting beyond the arc) with 2:44 to play before the Cats used a 12-5 flourish to close out the game, thwarting any late uprising with 5-of-6 shooting from the line over the final 34 seconds. Curtis Jenkins was high man for Molloy with 21 points (5-18 FG, 10-12 FT), six rebounds, four assists and four steals, while Nick Corbett finished with 10 points and four assists in defeat. Daemen flexed its muscle in the paint (44-26), on the glass (56-39) and on second chances (28-12).
ROBERTS WESLEYAN 62 QUEENS 45
The Western New York teams made it a downstate sweep after Roberts Wesleyan ran away from Queens in Flushing, swapping places in the standings as the fifth-place team. Five was the largest lead for both sides in the opening period, and the game was tied at 38-38 before a Peyton McLaurin jumper with 11:26 left kick-started a 24-7 game-ending spree. Armon Nasseri recorded 18 points off the bench for Roberts, which also received 11 points and six rebounds from McLaurin. Elijah Bovell was the lone double-figure scorer for the sixth-place Knights with 12 points in a reserve role as his team sealed its fate by mustering just one basket over the last 12 minutes. The Redhawks were the superior shooters (47%-29%) and rebounders (42-28) while also doing more damage in the paint (34-14). Both sides struggled from distance (RWC 5-15, QC 4-22).