(Canton, N.Y.)- The SUNY Canton men’s basketball team rallied for a 61-52 victory over the University of Maine at Fort Kent, sending senior Ryan Lamica (Constable, N.Y.) out on a high note Saturday afternoon.
Prior to the start of the game, Lamica, who played the past two years for SUNY Canton after transferring from North Country Community College, was honored and recognized along with his parents. The Franklin Academy graduate scored nine points, made six steals, grabbed five rebounds, and dished out five assists in his final intercollegiate game. Lamica, a career 74 percent free throw shooter, fittingly sank two free throws with 41 seconds left for the Roos final points.
SUNY Canton, who end the season 9-14, looked to be in control for most of the first half as they opened the contest on a 12-2 run over the first five minutes. The lead remained at 10 points, 17-7, with 11:56 on the clock, before the Bengals closed on a 23-10 run to lead 30-27 at halftime.
The Roos came out ice cold to start the second half missing their first 10 shots from the field as the Bengals scored eight straight to extend their lead to 38-27. Junior Khalid Vaughn (New York, N.Y.) converted a driving layup with 15:12 remaining that finally broke the Roos drought.
The Roos kept slashing away at Fort Kent’s lead, and sophomore Scott Bartenstein (Potsdam, N.Y.) fed Vaughn for a jumper in the paint that trimmed the advantage to 42-38 with just over 11 minutes left. The Roos outscored the Bengals 9-6 over the next three minutes, and a steal and basket from sophomore Tyler Ellison (New York, N.Y.) made it a one-point contest with 7:31 to go. Sean Doman answered with a basket for Fort Kent on their next possession, and then junior Scott Dixon (Brooklyn, N.Y.) drilled a 3-pointer from the wing to tie the game 50-50. Doman then misfired from beyond the arc and Vaughn scored on the other end for the Roos, giving them their first lead since late in the first half.
It was all SUNY Canton from there on out as Bartenstein scored on a layup and then drilled a triple from the left corner extending the home team’s lead to 57-50. Doman worked his way into the paint to get the lead down to five points, but Vaughn and Lamica each went 2-for-2 from the line in the final minute of play to sweep the season series with the Bengals.
Vaughn led the team with 17 points and seven rebounds. Bartenstein added 12 points and nine boards. Dixon finished with three threes and nine points and seven rebounds. Ellison totaled eight points and six rebounds, and sophomore Xzavier Fisher (Plymouth, Pa.) added six points and eight rebounds.
Jeremy Bishop dropped in 16 points for Fort Kent (2-26), and Yoshives Belizaire added 11 points and two assists.
At halftime of the men’s game, Nancy Rowledge, former president of the SUNY Canton booster club, was honored for her many years of dedication and commitment to the club and the athletic department.