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Stevens shades AU men’s basketball team, 71-69
2/06/09

HOBOKEN, NJ – Host Stevens Institute of Technology’s men’s basketball team came out on top in a thrilling Empire 8 Conference contest with Alfred University Friday evening, winning 71-69.

Alfred led at the half, 36-32, and pushed its lead to 10 points (42-32) by opening the second half with a 6-0 run. Stevens tied the game at 57-57 with just over six minutes left and took its first lead of the second half, 59-57, with 5:42 remaining. Alfred took a 69-67 lead on a three-pointer by sophomore guard Mike Stopera (Scotia, NY/Scotia-Glenville) with 2:11 left, but Anthony Passalacqua canned a three-pointer on Stevens’ next possession, giving the host Ducks a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Mike Baker made a free throw with seven seconds left and the Ducks secured the rebound after Baker missed the second foul shot and the hosts ran out the clock.

AU (7-12, 2-8 Empire 8) had a solid night shooting, making 47 percent of its shots from the floor (64 percent from three-point range) and 83 percent from the line. Stevens rebounded from poor first-half shooting (36 percent) to shoot 50 percent after intermission. The Ducks shot well from behind the three-point line, making 43 percent (11 of 26) from long range.

Stopera led Alfred with 20 points, six rebounds and four assists. Sophomore guard Gary Kwiecien (Perry, NY/Perry) had 15 points and seven assists; junior forward Jared Patt (Nelson, PA/Elkland) scored 14; and freshman forward Patrick Hollenbeck (Ontario, NY/Wayne) netted a career high 11 points to go with five boards.

Passalacqua scored a game-high 23 points, making seven of 13 three-point attempts, to lead Stevens (12-8, 5-6 Empire 8). Virgil Gray scored 17 points and Baker finished with eight points and 10 assists.

Alfred is in action next on Sunday, Feb. 8, at 2 p.m. at Ithaca.