January 2, 2014


Utica tops Red Dragons

UTICA – Aaron Nevins and Marion Lewis each scored 14 points as Utica College defeated visiting Cortland, 71-67, in a non-league men’s basketball matchup. The Pioneers improved to 5-3 with the victory, while Cortland dropped to 4-3 with its third straight loss.
Senior Garen Spendjian led Cortland with a career-high 30 points. He made 12-of-15 shots from the field, including 5-of-6 from 3-pt. range, and he grabbed seven rebounds. Freshman Terrence Felder made 3-of-6 shots from behind the arc and finished with career bests of nine points and three assists.
Junior Matt McGowan made all four of his shots from the floor and scored a career-high eight points. Senior Kevin McMahon and junior Lamard Herron ach scored six points, with McMahon adding eight rebounds and Herron registering four assists and six rebounds. Sophomore T.J. Hefele matched his career high with six assists.
Nevins dished out seven assists in addition to his 14 points. Ian Henderson added 12 points and Agim Hamiti grabbed eight rebounds for the Pioneers.
Cortland trailed 36-31 at halftime, but scored the first six points of the second half to lead 37-36. Utica went on a 10-3 run over the next five minutes and led 46-40 after a Lewis layup with 13:57 remaining.
Felder hit two treys and Spendjian made a layup to put Cortland up 48-46, but the Pioneers eventually established a 59-54 lead with 6:05 left after a Nevins jumper. The Red Dragons responded again as Felder hit a 3-pointer and Blair Estarfaa made a layup and the game was tied 59-59 with 5:04 left.
Cortland eventually took a 64-61 lead on a Hefele 3-pointer with 3:42 remaining, but Utica scored the next eight points. Chris Jeffers made a layup with 3:05 left, Nevins made two free throws at the 2:24 mark, Marty Felecia scored on a put-back with 1:25 left and Jeffers hit a layup with 44 seconds remaining. Spendjian’s 3-pointer in the closing seconds cut the Utica lead to two, but Nevins made two free throws to ice the victory.
Cortland shot only 29 percent from the field in the first half, but made 52 percent of its shots in the second half. The Red Dragons were 11-of-33 from 3-point distance, but only 2-of-7 from the foul line. Utica shot an identical 42 percent (10-of-24) from the field in each half. The Pioneers made 23-of-32 foul shots (72 percent).
Cortland will play at the Catholic University Tournament on Saturday and Sunday. The Red Dragons face the host school in the opening round Saturday at 4 p.m. and will play either Misericordia or St. Joseph’s (Maine) Sunday at either 2 or 4 p.m.


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