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AU falls to Stevens Tech, 68-60, in Empire 8 Conference opener
1/06/12

ALFRED, NY -The Alfred University men’s basketball team dropped a 68-60 decision to visiting Stevens, Friday evening in the McLane Center, to open up Empire 8 Conference play.

In a tightly played first half AU managed to hold a three-point advantage (32-29) heading into intermission, thanks in part to hot shooting as the Saxons finished shooting 46 percent from the floor in the opening frame. For the first half, Stevens (9-2, 1-0 Empire 8) shot 40 percent from floor, and was held to 13 percent from behind the arc as AU held a slim 18-17 advantage in rebounds.

In the second half Stevens would turn up the pressure on defense forcing the Saxons into low percentage shots, as well as eight second half miscues. Despite the defensive effort by the Ducks, AU was able to keep the game close throughout and never trailed more than nine points (58-67 with 11 seconds remaining in the contest). For the game, AU shot 40 percent to the Ducks 39, and were outrebounded 41-33.

Senior guard Josh Parker (Tonawanda, NY/Sweet Home) netted a game-high 19 points, while grabbing seven boards, and adding an assist to lead the Saxons. Junior forward Sean Curran (Honesdale, PA/Honesdale) had a strong outing with key dribble penetration as he scored nine points, five rebounds, and one steal. Sophomore forward Mike Branche (Schenectady, NY/Colonie) and senior forward Pat Hollenbeck (Ontario, NY/Wayne) both finished with seven points, while picking up five and four rebounds respectively.

Russ Thompson, Mike Cutri, and Sheldon Jones all managed to score double digits, and contributed for the Ducks down the stretch.

AU (7-3, 0-1 Empire 8) looks to bounce back Saturday, Jan. 7, at 4 p.m., when they take on visiting Hartwick.