(Johnson, Vt.)- Despite a late game rally, the SUNY Canton men’s basketball team came up on the short end of the score as they lost to Johnson State College 76-71 Tuesday in Johnson, Vt.
Freshman Michael Pulci (Staten Island, N.Y.) came off the bench to pump in a career-high 22 points to lead the Roos, who dipped to 1-2 overall. Pulci canned 10 of 14 free throw attempts and also grabbed five rebounds in 25 minutes.
Junior Khalid Vaughn (New York, N.Y.) added 16 points, five assists and three steals. Sophomore Xavier Fisher (Plymouth, Pa.) also scored 16 points on 7-for-8 shooting from the field and he grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Junior Scott Dixon (Brooklyn, N.Y.) contributed nine points and six rebounds and senior Ryan Lamica (Constable, N.Y.) chipped in with seven points and four assists.
The first half featured nine ties in an up and down first 20 minutes before the Badgers closed the half on a 9-2 run to 37-30 at the break.
Johnson State scored the first two baskets of the second half to surge ahead 41-30, but after swapping baskets, the Roos reeled off a 15-4 run to the tie the game for the 10th time. Pulci drained a pair of free throws to give the Roos their first lead of the game at 52-51 with 9:55 remaining in the game. Johnson pushed the lead back to eight points, but SUNY Canton had one more run as they trimmed the Badgers lead down to a single points with 57 seconds left after two more free throws from Pulci. Johnson then converted 4 of 6 free throws down the stretch to hold off the Roos charge.
Andy Bousono scored 21 points, dished out six assists and made five steals to lead the Badgers.
The Roos are off until Wednesday, Nov. 28 when they host Utica College at 6 p.m. in their home opener.