By Jada Butler & Matthew Weinstein
News Editor & Contributing Writer
The men’s basketball team hosted the University of Bridgeport in the opener for the 2017-2018 East Coast Conference on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at the Pratt Recreation Center. The Pioneers suffered a loss of 97-70, leaving them to fall 2-6 on the year (2-5 for the season, 0-1 for ECC) while the Purple Knights improved to 7-1.
Through seven non-conference games, the Pioneers were heading into a rough start with a record of 2-5. “[We need to] buy into the program that Coach Smiles has enlisted with us,” Alonzo Ortiz-Traylor, freshman guard and forward, said before the Dec. 6 game. “The coaches know what they are talking about, so if we buy back into our program, we’ll be perfect.”
The Pioneers seemed to stray from this program during the game, as Bridgeport grabbed an early lead in the first half, with a score of 47-24 before the break.
Aary Bibens, returning senior and guard, netted the first basket of the second half to cut the lead to 21 (47-26). The Pioneers were unable to snatch the lead throughout the last period before the Purple Knights clinched the 97-70 victory.
The Pioneers will play their second ECC game on Saturday, Dec. 9 at Mercy College at 3 p.m.