UTICA, N.Y. – Sophomore forward Kevin Dennis (Bronx, N.Y.) powered his way to 31 points Wednesday night, but it wasn't enough as Morrisville State men's basketball dropped a 87-74 cross town non-conference match up with Utica College in Utica.
The loss drops Morrisville State to 3-4 overall on the year.
Dennis hit 11-of-17 from the floor, including 9-of-11 from the free throw line, while adding four rebounds to lead the Mustang efforts. Senior Trent Ward (Auburn, N.Y.) added nine points, while Derek Beames (Otego, N.Y.) added seven and a team high eight rebounds.
Joe Stortini led the Pioneers with 26 points, while teammates Kobe Lufkin added 14 to go along with four assists. Justin Strielkasuskas netted 12, as teammate Ivan Iton posted a team high 12 rebounds as Utica outgained the Mustangs 36-29 on the glass.
Dennis posted the first bucket of the game for an early 2-0 Mustang lead, but Utica went on a 10-2 spurt to hold a six point advantage six minutes in.
Morrisville State was able to hang within striking distance, cutting the Pioneer lead to two on a three-ball from Tyrin Miller (White Plains, N.Y.) with just under nine to go in the opening half, but Utica was able to withstand the Mustangs and utilize solid free throw shooting to send the game into the break with a 39-31 host lead.
The Mustangs opened the second half with an 8-0 offensive spurt, and took their first lead of the contest minutes later, on a three-point play by Dennis, but a three minute scoring drought for Morrisville State allowed the hosts to regain the advantage and never look back as they increased their lead to as many as 16 enroute to the win.
Morrisville State returns to the court Saturday, hosting Wells College at 1 p.m. on their home court.
Morrisville State College's curricula 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 and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2018 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2018 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.