By Brian Savard
DOYLESTOWN, PA - Despite battling back from 15 points down with 14 minutes to go, the State University of New York at New Paltz men’s basketball team (4-7) was done in by a go-ahead layup with 2.1 seconds to go in regulation, as the Hawks dropped a 74-72 non-conference decision to Delaware Valley College (7-5) on Friday night at the James Work Gymnasium.
Delaware Valley’s Zach Sly was fouled on a scramble on New Paltz’s offensive end of the court with 24.8 seconds to go, and he made 1-of-2 shots at the line to tie the score at 72-all. With the final possession in hand, the Hawks turned the ball over with 7.4 ticks remaining on the clock, prompting an Aggie timeout. Sly then dribbled around a double screen at midcourt, attacked an open lane to the basket and scored on a layup to put the home team up by one with 2.1 seconds to go. New Paltz was unable to produce a shot before the buzzer.
The Hawks got off to a slow start, falling into a 10-0 hole early. A 6-0 run midway through the period - which was capped off by a layup by junior guard Andrew Joseph - helped trim the deficit to single digits, but the Aggies were able to swell the lead back to 15 with a layup by Jay Donovan at 4:28 of the first half. New Paltz closed the stanza on a 10-3 spurt, and a fastbreak layup by senior guard/forward Shereef Taylor with three seconds left in the half ensured a 39-31 deficit heading into the locker room.
The Aggies mounted a 15-point advantage on four occasions in the second half, the last of which came off a Jeremy Beckett fastbreak dunk at 14:38. A 9-0 New Paltz tear helped spur a comeback bid, and with 4:50 remaining in regulation, senior forward Matt Devine hit a three-pointer to give the Hawks their first lead of the game at 66-65. The two squads traded points, and Devine made it a three-point contest with 2:43 remaining in regulation after a made free throw. Daulton Derr converted on a layup with 1:06 to go to trim the deficit to one, and the Aggies grabbed a rebound after a missed Hawk jumper to set up Sly’s heroics.
The Hawks shot 38.5 percent (25-of-65) from the floor for the game, but went just 2-of-14 (14.3 percent) from distance. New Paltz held a 48-38 edge in rebounds.
Taylor paced the Hawks with a virtuoso performance, scoring 26 points and grabbing a career-high 14 boards. He also had a career-high-tying five steals and added one assist. Devine poured in 15 points and contributed nine rebounds, while Joseph had 11 points and five assists.
For Delaware Valley, Beckett shined with 18 points and 16 rebounds while Derr led the Aggies in scoring with a 19-point performance.