The Oswego State Lakers (17-9, 10-8 SUNYAC) are set to take on top seeded The College at Brockport (22-3, 16-2 SUNYAC) tonight in the semifinal round of the 2014 SUNYAC Championships.
This will be their third time facing the Golden Eagles this season; the two teams split the season series. The Lakers came up with a decisive upset victory in the most recent contest on Feb. 18, 95-83. That victory sparked their three-game winning streak heading into this evening’s game.
Opening the playoffs Tuesday night, Oswego State completed the season sweep of SUNY Cortland, 69-57. The Lakers knocked off the Red Dragons thanks in large part to the play of senior, combo guard Daniel Ross who led the team with 24 points and was 7-for-7 from the charity stripe. Freshman Keith Tyson put in an efficient night’s work as well, finishing with 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor.
Heading into tonight’s game versus Brockport, Oswego State will need the same recipe to continue their championship aspirations. They face a tough task versus a Golden Eagles team that has lost only three games all season.
The Lakers are feeling extremely confident heading into this matchup knowing that they can compete with any team in the conference.
As Tyson explains, this team has a swagger not just because they beat this same Brockport team two weeks ago, but because “we know how good of a team we are and we expect to play that way no matter who our opponent is.”
“Our mindset is the same as if this was any other game. Take the game play by play and compete with a high level of intensity on both ends of the court,” Tyson said.
Oswego State is one of the youngest teams in the conference, but that will not hold it back. This is the first road playoff game for the five freshmen on the squad, including Tyson.
“I’m expecting a great crowd, which always makes the game more fun and exciting,” Tyson said.
That sentiment can be felt; the aura around the team this year is tangible. One could feel it in Max Ziel Gymnasium during the opening round of the playoffs versus Cortland. There is an electricity around the team, they are riding this momentum and look to notch another win against a talented Golden Eagles team tonight.
The Lakers will have to utilize some of the same tactics they used when they beat Brockport earlier this season. Some of those tactics are: defending the perimeter, taking advantage of free throw opportunities and playing aggressive, all-around defense.
Another key to their upset win against the Golden Eagles was their impressive scoring off the bench. Their bench did a lot of their damage from the perimeter, shooting 44.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Tip off tonight is set for 8 p.m. at Brockport with the winner advancing to the SUNYAC Championship tomorrow at 4 p.m. versus the winner of tonight’s first semifinal between SUNY Geneseo and SUNY Plattsburgh at 6 p.m., also played at Brockport.