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Saxons top Elmira in season finale
2/18/12

ALFRED, NY - The Alfred University men’s basketball team used 55-percent second-half shooting to erase a three-point halftime deficit en route to a 61-53 win over visiting Elmira Saturday afternoon in the Saxons’ regular season finale.

Senior guard Josh Parker (Tonawanda, NY/Sweet Home) made 10 of 13 free throw attempts and scored a game-high 22 points in the final home game of his career. The Saxons will now wait to see if they will play in an ECAC postseason tournament, bids for which will be announced Feb. 27.

Alfred (15-10, 6-8 Empire 8) shot only 39 percent in the first half, compared to 42 percent for Elmira, and went into intermission down 25-22. A 7-3 run over the first 2:40 of the second half gave AU a 29-28 advantage, the Saxons’ first lead since a 10-8 advantage midway through the opening half.

The Saxons played stingy defense in the second half, holding Elmira (1-24, 1-13 E8) to 36-percent shooting. Both teams had 14 turnovers for the game and Elmira held a slim 29-27 rebounding advantage. Each team shot well from three-point range with the Saxons canning eight of 16 long-range attempts and the Soaring Eagles seven of 18.

Sophomore forward Mike Branche (Schenectady, NY/Colonie) made three shots from behind the arc and five of seven overall to finish with 13 points. Parker had a team-leading five rebounds to go with three steals and freshman point guard Tim Pacheco (Mt. Pocono, PA/Pocono Mountain East) had six points and four steals.

Chris Cassidy had 13 points and six boards to pace Elmira, while Neil Randolph (three-for-seven on three-point shots) added 11.