Sunday, December 19, 2010

Caldwell Closes ECAC Holiday Classic with Loss to NYIT

CALDWELL, N.J. - The Caldwell College men's basketball team was defeated by NYIT, 77-68 in the final game of the ECAC Holiday Classic Sunday afternoon in the George R. Newman Center. The loss is the Cougars' fourth in a row and drops their overall record to 3-6 on the season. The Bears improve to 4-4. In the day's first game, Dominican College beat Cheyney University, 83-78.

Caldwell erased a six-point first-half deficit with a 12-4 run that put the Cougars on top, 23-21 with 4:44 on the clock. Junior center Peter Diffley (Bellerose, NY/Episcopal) had four points, and junior guard Don Trifari (Montville, NJ/Paul Robeson) hit a three-pointer in the run. After a three-pointer by Eric Rodriguez and a free throw put the Bears ahead 25-23, a conventional three-point play by sophomore forward Karel Thuwis (Zonhoven, Belgium/Brehm Prep) gave Caldwell a 26-25 lead with 3:13 left in the half. Five points by Dominic Scurry sparked a 7-3 NYIT run to close out the half and make the score 32-29 Bears at the break.

The Cougars out-scored NYIT 7-2 to start the second half and take a 36-34 lead, with sophomore forward Arthur Morrison (Phillipsburg, NJ/APEX) scoring four points. But the Bears tallied the next eight points to grab a 42-36 advantage with 16:15 remaining. Caldwell was able to tie the game at 52-52 following a lay-up by senior forward Tyler Emmons (Portland, ME/Portland), only to have NYIT reel off an 11-2 run for a 63-54 lead with seven minutes to play. The Cougars never came closer than seven points the rest of the way, as the Bears led by as many as 12 points down the stretch.

NYIT shot 53.8 percent from the field in the second half compared to 34.4 percent for Caldwell, which also shot 81.5 percent (22-of-27) from the free throw line. The Cougars also held a 43-32 rebounding advantage. Senior forward Antonio Brimley (Paterson, NJ/Paterson Eastside) led all players with a career-high 21 points to go with eight rebounds. Junior guard Nik Otovic (Kraljevo, Serbia) added 10 points and five boards for Caldwell. NYIT's Jerrell Walker recorded 19 points and seven rebounds, while Scurry finished with 16 points.

Caldwell returns to action on Sunday, Jan. 2, with a game against Queens College at the Dominican College Tournament in Orangeburg, N.Y.

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