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Morrisville State men's basketball opens season with nail biting loss to Clarkson

MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The Morrisville State College men’s basketball team opened the 2008-2009 season campaign Saturday night with a nail biting 54-52 loss to visiting Clarkson University in Morrisville.

Clarkson held the 26-21 advantage at the halfway mark before increasing their lead to as much as 15 in the second. With just over eight minutes remaining on the clock, Morrisville Stat started chipping away at the Golden Knight lead with Elonzo Wilson (Syracuse, NY) igniting the Mustang offense with a three-pointer to cut the lead to 11. Morrisville State went on a 10-2 run within the next two minutes of play to trail by just six with just over 5:30 remaining in the contest.

Stephen Grant (Staten Island, NY) and Joe McCants (Bronx, NY) each added a layup before Wilson nailed his second three of the night to bring the Mustangs within one with just over two minutes remaining. Morrisville State had three chances to top the Golden Knights, but fell short as Nik Marquis (Irvington, NJ) sealed the win for Clarkson with a free throw in the closing seconds of the game.

Grant led all scorers with 16 points on the night, adding three assists and four steals to the Mustang tallies. Wilson netted ten in his collegiate debut while McCants tallied six points and snagged nine rebounds.

James Evans (Hamburg, NY) led Clarkson with ten points and seven boards while Brandon Linton (Queens, NY) and Keith Murray (Queens, NY) each added eight. Linton added seven rebounds to his tallies on the night.

Morrisville State (0-1) returns to the court Friday night at the Susquehanna University Tip-Off Tournament. The Mustangs will face Kings College in the opening round at 6 p.m.

Clarkson (0-1) returns to the court Friday against Keystone College at the North Country Invitational in Potsdam.

Morrisville State enters its third year as a provisional member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Division III in 2008. Upon successful completion of the provisional period, Morrisville State will be a candidate for full accreditation as a member of the NCAA.

Morrisville State College offers more than 75 bachelor and associate degrees and options. Considered to be one of the most technologically advanced colleges in the nation for its ThinkPad University program and wireless technology initiative, the college recently became the first in the nation to comprehensively replace landlines in residence halls with individual cellular phones. Morrisville State College was also chosen as one of the top five colleges in the nation for campus activities by Campus Activities magazine.

The Morrisville State College Norwich Campus offers associate degree programs in accounting, business, computer systems technology, office administration, liberal arts transfer, nursing, early childhood, criminal justice and human services to south central New York residents and employers. Students may also apply coursework to other associate or bachelor degrees at the main campus.