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Suffocating defense leads Brockport to SUNYAC Finals 

Photo Credit: Brockport Athletics via Flickr

Defense has been the calling card of the Brockport men’s basketball team all season long. That was the case once again Friday night as they took down Cortland 65-53 in the SUNYAC Semifinals. Brockport Head Coach Greg Dunne knew their defensive efforts would be critical. 

“We knew it was going to be about how we defended them,” Dunne said. “All the analytics shows them as excellent against every single kind of defense. Zone, man, pressure, doesn’t matter they’re excellent. We had to lock them up and be able to guard and I think that’s exactly what we did. It was one of our better defensive performances of the year.” 

The Golden Eagles held Cortland 22 points below their season average on just 17-63 (27%) shooting from the floor and 3-30 (10%) from three-point range. Reigning SUNYAC Player of the Year Cortland’s Austin Grunder was held to just 5-17 (29%) from the field and 1-6 (16%) from three, scoring 16 points. Dunne believes his team played to their strength with their defensive effort, particularly guarding Cortland’s three-point shooting. 

“We are a team that guards the (three point) arc as good as anybody in the country,” Dunne said. That’s their strength. So, it was our strength versus their strength, and we did a good job defending it.” 

For the Golden Eagles, it was Jahidi Wallace who led the way offensively with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Mehki Beckett and Tony Arnold each scored 14 points in the game. David Grady III chipped in 10 points and nine rebounds. Colby Jordan and Davonte Jones combined for the remaining eight points. 

Brockport moves on to the SUNYAC Championship for the first time since the 2019-20 season, when they defeated Potsdam 102-75. They will face #1 seed Oswego, who they went 1-1 against in the regular season. Wallace spoke confidently about getting another crack at the Lakers. 

“I just want to beat them again,” Wallace said. “I feel like we can beat them. They’re not as good as people put them out to be. I feel like we’re just better, we’re a better team.” 

That will all be decided tomorrow at 4p.m. when Oswego hosts Brockport with the winner earning the SUNYAC title and an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament.

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Mike Rose, Sports Editor
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