CLINTON, N.Y. — The Colby College men’s basketball team had two good chances to tie the game in the final 30 seconds, but Oswego State held on for a 67-63 victory on the first day of the Hamilton College Invitational on Saturday night.
The Mules are 3-1 overall and will play in the consolation game at 1 p.m. Sunday against Clarkson University. Hamilton took a 96-92 win over Clarkson in the other game.
Oswego was 22-9 last year, made the NCAA Division III Tournament, and returned All-American guard Brian Sortino. However, the Mules held Sortino to just 6-for-17 shooting and stayed in the game in a defensive struggle.
The game was very even statistically. Hamilton shot 39.3 percent from the field to Colby’s 36.7 effort. The Mules had an edge in 3-point shooting (28.6 percent to 25.0) and the Lakers shot better from the foul line (13-for-18 to 11-for-17). Both teams had only nine turnovers and Oswego State had a 41-36 margin in rebounds.
First-year Sean Gilmore shot 7-for-12 from the field, including a 3-for-5 effort from 3-point range, for a team-high 18 points for Colby. Patrick Stewart finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Maximilian Steiner had 13 points and a team-high eight boards. No other Colby player had more than five points.
Sortino still managed 21 points and led all players with six assists for the Lakers. Jamir Ferebee came off the bench with 12 points and starter Ian Schupp had the same total. Mykelle Krecko finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lakers took a 31-23 lead at halftime, but Colby came out strong and took a 40-39 lead when Joe Connelly hit two free throws with 15:37 to play. The Mules had two four-point leads (45-41, 49-45) over the next five minutes.
Oswego’s key moment came with a 9-0 scoring run to turn a 49-45 deficit into a 56-49 lead with 6:05 to play. The Mules battled hard to cut the lead to 64-62 after Stewart hit two free throws with 1:05 to play.
Sortino went 1-for-2 from the foul line to make it 65-62 with 44 seconds remaining. Colby’s Alex Dorion also went 1-for-2 from the foul line with 34 seconds to play. Oswego botched the inbounds play and Colby missed on a front layup with 30 seconds to go. After Krecko hit 1-for-2 from the free-throw line with 29 seconds left, Colby missed on a 3-point shot with 12 seconds to play.
Oswego missed the first free throw with 6.3 seconds remaining and the Mules still had a chance if Ian Schupp missed the second toss. The Lakers called a timeout and the Mules followed with a timeout of their own to make Schupp think about the important shot. Schupp hit the front of the rim and the ball bounced over and in for the 67-63 lead.