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Morrisville State men net 86-79 victory over Berks; advance to NEAC title game Sunday

MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The Morrisville State College men’s basketball team advanced to the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Championship final Sunday, defeating Penn State Berks by a 86-79 final in the second semifinal of the tournament held in Morrisville.

Morrisville State improves to 18-8 overall while Berks concludes their season with a 10-14 record. The Mustangs advance to the title game and will face Penn State Harrisburg, who defeated Wells College earlier in the day 72-64. Tip will be at 2 p.m. in Morrisville.

Five were in double figures for the Mustangs, including senior guard Kyle Gordon (Riverhead, N.Y.) who came off the bench to lead Morrisville State with 16 points, hitting 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Gordon added three assists and four rebounds on the day, while teammates Kucjok Ater (Syracuse, N.Y.), Brandon Hanks (Syracuse, N.Y.) and Brandon Henry (Harlem, N.Y.) each added 14. Hodges Sneed (Syracuse, N.Y.) rounded out top scoring for the Mustangs with 11 points, adding five rebounds.

Ater controlled the glass for Morrisville State, grabbing 10 boards, while blocking three. Andrew Lucio (Solvay, N.Y.) had a game high seven assists.

Jeff Schmidt (Orefield, Penn.) led the Nittany Lions with 17 points, adding 10 rebounds for the double-double, and dished out four assists in the Penn State Berks efforts. Shawn Green (Philadelphia, Penn.) added 16 points, while Tom Smith (Norristown, Penn.) and Connor Hough (Telford, Penn.) contributed 13 and 10, respectively.

Morrisville State came out of the blocks slow in the first half, but managed to stay within reach, playing even until the 8:28 mark when they put together a 9-3 run over a two minute span for the six point advantage and eventual 41-37 halftime lead.

In the second, a slow start found the Mustangs trailing by seven with just under 13 minutes remaining, but a 10-2 run over two minutes regained the one point lead in favor of Morrisville State.

Playing to a back and forth battle, Morrisville State led by just one with 3:16 remaining, but Hanks converted a three point play with 2:35 to go giving the Mustangs a six point cushion. Morrisville State hit 8-of-10 free throws to secure the win down the stretch.

The Mustangs hit 51.7 percent from the floor in the contest, including 35 percent from beyond the arc, while converting 18-of-26 free throws.

Morrisville State College sets the world in motion for students. Curriculums are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs, the college was named to the 2010 President’s Higher Community Service Honor Roll. Visit www.morrisville.edu to experience, Morrisville in motion.