Laker Gameday Preview: Max Ziel Men’s Basketball Tournament Edition: Nov. 16 v. Hartwick College

The Oswego State men’s basketball team suffered a last-second loss in its opening game of the Max Ziel Men’s Basketball Tournament, but are looking to bounce back Sunday night against the Hartwick College Hawks.

The Lakers dropped their opening game of the tournament to the Elmira College Soaring Eagles in crushing fashion, giving up a layup as time expired in the 57-56 loss.

Now, they will play the Hawks, who defeated the Farmingdale State Rams in the other game of the tournament on Saturday, 82-65. Hartwick hit 12 three pointers in their victory.

The Lakers will have get into a better rhythm on offense tonight if they want to win their first game of the season. The Lakers scored only 24 points in the opening half on Saturday, as they were frustrated by the Soaring Eagles defense. They will have to seek that rhythm against the Hawks if they want to close out the tournament on a positive note.

Like Elmira, Hartwick College is part of the Empire 8 Conference, it finished 18-10 overall during the 2013-14 campaign, while going 10-4 within the conference to finish in second place. It redeemed that second place finish by winning the Empire 8 Conference Tournament, defeating Alfred University and Nazareth College.

The Hawks are looking to start off the 2014-15 campaign with two consecutive victories, which they last achieved during the 2011-12 season. The Lakers will look to avoid an 0-2 for the first time since the 2000-2001 season.

By the numbers:

42- Number of sophomore transfer Dustin Pond, who was the Lakers leading scorer in Saturday’s loss. He shot five for six from the field, including a perfect three for three from three-point range, and scored 13 points.

82- Points scored by Hartwick in Saturday’s victory over Farmingdale State. The Lakers will look to keep that number down on Sunday night.

9- The number of free throws the Lakers missed in the loss Saturday. It was emphasized that they need to improve from the stripe if they are going to win games.