Having undergone a hapless week, which included two narrow losses within four days of each other, the men’s basketball team completed their three-game road-trip with a win against Mercy College, in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., on Feb. 19. Although the team’s mindset was expectedly shaken after their loss to both the University of Bridgeport and Dowling College, the Pioneers finished on a high as they defeated the Mercy Mavericks 93-67.
During the first half, senior forward Vaughn Allen, and sophomore guard Chris Orozco, stole the show. Allen netted six
of the first 11 points alone, and Orozco performed a pair of free throws in the final seconds of the period, securing the Pioneers with a comfortable lead of 42-20 as they entered the intermission.
During the second period, the men rapidly increased their advantage to more than 30 points. Only five-and-a-half minutes into the second half, a three-ball performed by sophomore guard Dillon Burns made it a 58-27 contest. By the halfway mark of the period, Post created an additional 37-point lead, forming a score of 70-33. Allen, who was 8-of-11 from the field-goal range, amassed seven rebounds and four assists, in addition to his 21-point showing. Junior guard P.J. Torres scored 16 points in 23 minutes off the bench, and junior forward Tyuan Williams collected 15 points and five boards. Additionally, junior guard Isiah Stokley grabbed seven rebounds and scored 11 points alongside Burns, who also contributed to the team’s success with 11 points, five assists and four steals.
“ I think the team really gave a strong effort against Mercy. After losing two tough games, it would have been easy for us to come out with no energy, but we did not; we played even harder,” Burns said.
“I think that our mindset was very positive and [we] looked at this game as if it were a playoff game, which is coming up in two weeks.” he added. Burns then discussed the matchup on Saturday Feb. 22, where the men faced St. Thomas Aquinas on Pioneer turf. “To get ready for Saturday we are preparing as usual by working hard in practice and going over the other team’s personnel.
The most important thing is that we are mentally ready to play and go into Saturday with a killer instinct. For us, it is all about playing together and playing harder than the opponent we face.” When Saturday came around, the men undoubtedly delivered as they triumphed over St. Thomas Aquinas, and finished with a final score of 64- 57.
Head Coach Erik Smiles and the Pioneers prepare to take on Molloy College on Saturday Feb. 26 at the Pratt Recreation Center. The men will be celebrating their Senior Night by recognizing the achievements of the team’s lone senior Vaughn Allen. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.