WATERTOWN — For the majority of Tuesday’s men’s basketball game between Jefferson Community College and Cayuga Community College, it looked like the Cannoneers were going to experience one of their more frustrating losses of the year.
But a late surge on both ends of the floor prevented that outcome and allowed the Cannoneers to take the win, 82-69.
As Isiah Murphy walked back to the bench following the handshake line, he kept repeating “10-4,” JCC’s record with the win. The victory also made JCC 2-1 in the conference.
It was their first win after Finger Lakes Community College broke an eight-game win streak, which dated back to Nov. 16, last Saturday. The Cannoneers are now 2-1 since a month-long winter break between games.
Cayuga’s inability to hit shots early allowed JCC to take a 10-point lead in the first half, but once the Spartans’ shots began to fall, that lead evaporated and JCC went into halftime trailing by one.
“It was mostly our defense, we’re a defense-first team, that’s how we’ve pushed and made some big wins this season so far,” Murphy said. “When our defense slid, there’s a problem.”
Isaiah Landres led the Spartans (4-9, 0-2) in scoring with 21 points, seven of which came from the free throw line.
With about five minutes left in the game, the Cannoneers switched to a 2-3 zone defense that helped turn the momentum in their favor.
“We were getting beat off the dribble a lot so we switched, and we usually don’t play 2-3 ever,” JCC coach Joe Vaadi said. “It’s just one of those things that you keep plugging.”
The re-energized defense translated to more offensive production, particularly in transition. In the second half the Cannoneers offense started to work more on the inside and utilize the size of their big men, Liam Bonk (6-foot-8) and Josh Newman (6-foot-7).
“We weren’t hitting, it comes down to that, we weren’t hitting,” JCC’s Jake Hess said. “Our big men are very talented, so we know that we can play through them sometimes when the outside shot is going for us.”
Hess finished with 21 points, trailing only Murphy, who had 24. After the Cannoneers hit two 3-pointers in the first half (both by Hess), they didn’t hit any more for the rest of the game. Newman and Bonk played the majority of the game together, which allowed JCC to succeed on both the offensive and defensive boards. While they’re both big men who perform the typical responsibilities, Newman and Bonk have their differences.
“Josh is a much different type of player, he’s more of a facilitator where Liam is more of a post-up type player,” Vaadi said. “Not that Josh can’t post up, but Josh would rather no-look pass to you where Liam is going to try to score once he gets the ball on the block.”
Newman finished with 17 points while Bonk finished with 13. Bonk had a few open looks, but he struggled to finish some of his layups.
SUNY POTSDAM 98, SUNY PLATTSBURGH 79
Danny Delsol-Lowry scored 24 points and Isaiah Brown added 21 to lead SUNY Potsdam to a victory over SUNY Plattsburgh in a SUNYAC game in Potsdam.
Jayquan Thomas scored 18 points for the Bears (9-3, 4-1) and Isaiah Joseph added 13.
Travis Cox led the Cardinals (4-8, 1-4) with 21 points.
SUNY PLATTSBURGH 80, SUNY POTSDAM 75 (2 OT)
Taylor Clare scored 16 points and grabbed 21 rebounds to lead SUNY Plattsburgh team to a win over host SUNY Potsdam in a double-overtime SUNYAC game.
Clare hit a jump shot with two seconds left in the first overtime to tie the game 72-72.
Theresa Quinn scored 23 points for the Cardinals (5-7, 2-3). Devin Elliott led the Bears (4-7, 1-4) with 17 points and 17 rebounds. Caroline LaFountain also scored 17 points for the Bears. Dyamon Hunter scored 15. Jakia Howard picked up 11 points and 12 rebounds and Tsai Lewis added 11 points.
JEFFERSON CC 74, CAYUGA CC 52
Jefferson CC won its second straight game and remained unbeaten in conference play with a victory over Cayuga CC at JCC. The Cannoneers are 6-6 overall, 3-0 in Mid-State Conference play.
SUNY CANTON 5, SUNY POTSDAM 3
Jesse Farabee registered two goals and one assist to lead SUNY Canton to a victory over SUNY Potsdam in a nonconference game at Potsdam.
Kyler Matthews added a goal and two assists for the Kangaroos (8-3-2 overall). Sean Shepard and Matthew Headland also scored.
Ben Thompson, Vinny Guimond and Nate Zweig scored for the Bears (3-13-1).