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Ithaca rallies past Saxons
1/04/09

ALFRED, NY — The Ithaca College men’s basketball team used a late decisive run to rally past Alfred University, 75-64, Sunday afternoon at the McLane Center.

Alfred (4-6, 0-2 Empire 8) and Ithaca (10-0, 2-0 Empire 8, 17th-ranked in Division III) were tied at 61-61 with just over six minutes remaining in regulation when the Bombers went on a 10-0 run to take a 71-61 lead with 2:12 left. Alfred closed to within seven points, at 71-64, with 1:11 left but would get no closer.

The loss spoiled a solid effort by the Saxons, who scored the game’s first eight points and led by as many as nine early before settling for a slim 41-40 advantage at the halftime break. Alfred shot 47 percent in the first half, including a scorching 58 percent (seven of 12) from three-point range. Ithaca shot 40 percent in the first half (21 percent from behind the arc) and stayed close courtesy of nine made free throws.

For the game, Ithaca shot only 35 percent from the floor (28 percent on three-pointers), but made 20 free throws (to only 10 by AU), while outrebounding Alfred 48-35. Alfred made 41 percent of its field goals, including 47 percent (eight of 17) from long distance.

Sophomore guard Mike Stopera (Scotia, NY/Scotia-Glenville) led five AU players in double figures with 17 points. He made three of six three-point tried and added a team-high six rebounds and four assists. Junior guard Bobby Barry (Duanesburg, NY/Duanesburg) also made three three-pointers and finished with 11 points. Senior forward Carl Embury (Perry, NY/Perry) had 12 points and six boards; junior forward Jared Patt (Nelson, PA/Elkland) had 13 points and six rebounds; and sophomore point guard Garey Kwiecien (Perry, NY/Perry) had 10 points and three assists.

Sean Burton netted a game-high 18 points and nine assists to go with six rebounds to lead Ithaca. Sean Leahy added 11 points and a game-best 11 boards, while Brendan Rogers and Chris Cruz chipped in with 14 and 10 points, respectively.

Alfred is in action next on Tuesday, Jan. 6, at 8 p.m. at home against Elmira.