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Utica University men’s basketball tops SUNY Poly

Posted 11/22/22

The Utica University men’s basketball team earned some bragging rights over local counterpart SUNY Poly.

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Utica University men’s basketball tops SUNY Poly

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The Utica University men’s basketball team earned some bragging rights over local counterpart SUNY Poly.

Utica built a double-digit lead in the first half and then pulled away in the second half Monday to earn a 90-53 non-conference NCAA Division III win at SUNY Poly’s Campus Center Gym.

The Pioneers (2-0 overall) shot 50% from the field and hit 10 3-pointers in the game en route to the win. Conversely, the Wildcats (2-3) shot 39% in the game.

Utica opened up with an 18-8 advantage through the first eight minutes with help from back-to-back free throws from Whitesboro grad Thomas Morreale.

SUNY Poly answered with a 13-0 run for a small lead, capped by a layup from Frankfort-Schuyler grad Levi Spina.

The teams were tied at 23 with about seven minutes remaining before Utica used a 21-6 run to build a 44-29 halftime lead.

Utica’s Justice Brantley opened the second half with six of the team’s first eight points while Empire 8 Conference Rookie of the Week Dayion Thompson added 10 points in less than five minutes to help push Utica’s advantage.

Brantley finished with a double-double with a team high 19 points and a team-best 14 rebounds. Thompson totaled 18 points. Morreale finished with seven points for Utica, which had 20 players see time in in the game.

Utica includes local grads in VVS’ Ben Wittman (two points), Holland Patent’s DJ Harter and Rome Free Academy’s Kaiden McCaskill.

Spina led the Wildcats with 16 points and four steals while adding three rebounds and an assist. Holland Patent grad Dylan Ernst had 10 points, five rebounds, three assists, and three blocks for the Wildcats. Holland Patent grad Josh Ernst added three points.

The Wildcats are set to play in a tournament this weekend at Union College. The Wildcats are scheduled to play St. Joseph’s in the first round at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Utica next plays visiting Cazenovia College at 6 p.m. Monday.

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