UTICA, NY – — The SUNY New Paltz men’s basketball team is now one win away from reaching the NCAA Division III Tournament following a 64-62 win over fifth-seeded and two-time defending conference champion Brockport in a semifinal game of the SUNYAC tournament this evening in Utica, NY.
The Hawks will now face third-seeded Buffalo State in the title game tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. The Bengals (18-8) advanced to the finals following a 67-62 win over second-seeded Oswego. Buffalo State won both meetings against New Paltz this season including a 74-71 decision on February 15 in Buffalo.
Junior forward/center Steve Ott (New Paltz, NY) hit a jumper with 2.2 seconds remaining to send the eighth-seeded Hawks into the conference tournament title game for the first time since 1996.
Trailing 62-57 with 1:50 to play, New Paltz (11-16) kept the Golden Eagles (16-11) scoreless the rest of the way. Junior guard Jayvard Smith (Hepstead, NY) went one of two at the foul line but Ott followed the missed shot with a basket to pull New Paltz witin a basket, 62-60, with 1:20 to play.
After a Hawks defensive stop, junior guard Matt Daudier (S. Floral Park, NY)hit a jumper with 55 seconds remaining to tie the game.
Ott led the Hawks with 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the floor. He also grabbed 14 rebounds for New Paltz who will to try to reach the NCAA Tournament following a 3-22 season in 2002.