The last weekend of East Coast Conference games in Western New York began on Friday. Here’s how it went down:
LIU POST 88 DAEMEN 76
Greg Dotson totaled 23 points (9-14 FG, 3-4 from long range) and 14 rebounds as fourth-place LIU Post shot a sizzling 12-21 from beyond the arc in its win over second-place Daemen in Amherst to clinch a playoff berth. A 25-7 run spanning the halves flipped a 39-30 deficit into a 55-46 lead after two Jared Hall free throws as the Pioneers – ranked second nationally in FG defense – kept their high-scoring hosts without a basket for over nine minutes in avenging a home loss and earning their first-ever win at Lumsden Gym. The Wildcats – who placed five in double figures in the setback – came as close as 62-58 after a 3-pointer by Darius Garvin (12 points, 2-2 from deep) with 10:23 to play. However, Dillon Burns – who collected 10 points, six rebounds and seven assists – answered with a triple one minute later to spark a 6-0 spurt, and the lead ranged between six and 12 the remainder of the ballgame. Hall finished with 20 points, seven boards and five dishes for Post, which also received 12 points off the bench from Devon McMillan. Torrence Dyck topped the Daemen score sheet with 17 points, 11 rebounds and five helpers despite shooting just 4-20 from the floor. He was supported by Jaleo Wilkes (15 points off the bench), Deion Hamilton (13) and Ryan Grandits (10 in a reserve role, including 2-2 from downtown Buffalo). The Pioneers were the more accurate shooting team (46%-36%), won the glass (47-37) and compiled a strong 20/10 assist-turnover ratio. The Wildcats shot better from distance (9-20) than inside the arc (14-44), and fared better at the stripe (21-25 to 14-22) to remain close.
ROBERTS WESLEYAN 107 NYIT 84
Better news for the other Upstate New York team just down the Thruway as Roberts Wesleyan enjoyed a historic shooting night in a blowout victory over New York Institute of Technology at the Voller Center. Marcus Gooding exploded for 29 of his career-high 35 points in the second half, shooting 11-18 from the floor and an unconscious 10-13 from long distance, shattering the program record of nine treys, which he had tied just 19 days ago at UDC. The senior guard fueled the Redhawks’ sensational 20-30 performance from beyond the arc, shattering the previous standard of 18 (NYIT was 7-27 by comparison). Gooding added eight rebounds to his stellar stat line, and he was flanked by Zack Panebianco (17 points, 6-8 FG, 4-6 from 3), Malik Dare (16 points, nine boards, four assists), Mike Stone (15 points, 3-5 from downtown Rochester, four helpers) and Tyrel Dixon (six points, 3-4 FG, career-best 13 assists) as the hosts hung 63 points on the scoreboard after intermission… a period that commenced with a 26-12 spell that stretched a modest 44-38 lead to 70-50 with 13:16 left and included four bombs from Gooding. The Bears – whose five starters all reached twin figures – never came closer than 15 down the stretch as the margin maxed out at 107-76. Kachi Nzerem and Khalif Chaplin led the balanced NYIT attack with 16 points apiece, with Chaplin ascending the 1,000-point plateau midway through the final frame despite 6-23 shooting from the field. Henrik Davidsen (nine rebounds) and Maksis Uskans each dropped a dozen in defeat, while Jerrel Green managed 10 points and seven rebounds. The Redhawks were the vastly superior shooters (62%-42%) while tripling their guests in assists, 30-10. Gooding becomes the second regional player this season to connect on 10 trifectas in a game, joining Southern Connecticut’s Michael Mallory, who turned the trick in a double-overtime win at Bentley on January 30.