The SUNYIT men’s basketball team had its dream season come to end with a 104-70 loss to Williams College in the NCAA Tournament sectional semifinal round Friday night. It was the first loss in the past nineteen games for the Wildcats, who finished the season with a program-best record of 26-5.
Williams seemed to not miss from three-point land, going
17-for-27 from beyond the arc while shooting 60 percent (37-for-62)
from the field on the night. SUNYIT tried to keep up on offense,
shooting 45 percent (26-for-58) from the field and hitting 11
three-pointers of its own, but it wasn’t enough as Williams
led throughout most of the contest.
After the Wildcats scored the first two points of the contest, Williams would build a ten-point lead over the next six minutes to be up 18-8 early. They would double their lead over the next 11 minutes and would eventually go into halftime with a 16-point lead, 50-34.
The Wildcats scored five straight points to open the second half and cut the lead to 11, but four three-pointers over the next three minutes by Williams put them back up 17 points. That would be followed by 10 unanswered points by Williams to put them up 27, 72-45, with seven minutes left in the game. It was too much for SUNYIT to overcome, as the team would never get any closer than 25 before suffering defeat.
Senior Diloo Brown (Harlem, NY/Technical Career Institute) hit six three-pointers and finished with a game-high 26 points to go along with four rebounds and a game-high three steals. Junior David Golembiowski (Barneveld, NY/Holland Patent) scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while fellow classmate Kevin Cappiello (Youngsville, NY/Sullivan West) scored 11 points.
Alex Rubin, Blake Schultz and James Wang all scored 21 points for Williams, while Troy Whittington shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and finished with 13 points.
Despite the loss, SUNYIT had its best season in program history, winning its second straight North Eastern Athletic Conference Championship and making it first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
SUNYIT was the first NEAC team to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 in any sport. They were a terrific representative of the conference and what we stand for. We are very proud of their success.