It was Friday when I was out with the team for the game. We were out to welcome our guests, the Utica College men’s basketball team. It was the in Empire 8 Conference action though I was a benchwarmer, but I knew very well how important that game was for all of us. We were energetic and highly motivated. It was just the day before, that we helped volunteer our time and efforts with an auto glass replacement companies annual big brother charity basketball camp! It was truly fun to see all the kids with a smile on there face and just having a good time and certainly something our team needed this rough season. I could could see the time spent with the kids definitely brought up everyone’s moral. But somehow things did not go as we had planned… I was there throughout the match and was watching as things were slowly going out of hand for us. The main reason behind this was those four players who managed to score in the double digits. These were the ones who paced the Pioneers.
Utica had improved to 7-16 this year. They were 4-11 in the Empire 8 Conference with this win. But the Bombers dropped completely to 13-11 overall. This game ensured that we got eliminated from the playoff contention as we now had a 7-8 conference record. This defeat pinched still more as it is the first time in the past five years that the Pioneers have managed to sweep the entire season series against Ithaca. This 2015-16 series will finally get wrapped up by UC as it will travel to Nazareth College on Saturday. The game time on that day is scheduled for 2 p.m. We would be hosting Hartwick College too that day at 2 p.m.
I was very excited during the game as Utica was leading by as many as 11 points we still had 6:05 left for playing. The Bombers then made the game more interesting as they came within four points. At that time we had just 21 seconds remaining. After this were the four straight free throws by Agim Hamiti. This is what managed to seal the Utica victory.
It was Sophomore Ivan Iton who mainly led the Pioneers with his 18 points along with the eight rebounds. Next who was responsible for the win was Andrew Druziak who managed to net 4 points off the bench. Another player who I really admired was Hamiti who managed to finish with 12 points, and was shooting 2-for-4 from just beyond the arc. It was Senior Jawan Simmons who managed with 11 points of his own and was able to add seven boards. It was Seamus McHugh and Justin Mayers who were able to combine for 15 points. All of them were responsible for the excitement in the game.