Stevens outlasts UC in Empire 8 showdown


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The nationally-ranked No. 25 Stevens Institute of Technology Ducks downed host Utica College 72-59 in Empire 8 Conference action Friday night at the Harold T. Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium.  Alex Meyer (Salt Point, NY/Our Lady of Lourdes) came off the bench and provided a nice spark for UC, netting a season-high 12 points, but it was not enough to fight off the undefeated Ducks (6-0, 1-0 Empire 8).  UC's record moved to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in conference play as junior transfer Connor Maisch (Kingston, NY/John A. Coleman) netted 11 points and grabbed 10 boards for the home team. 

Stevens was led by two 20-point efforts from both Russ Thompson and Sheldon Jones as the Ducks won their conference opener.  Big-man Phillip DeSeignora added a double-double as he poured in 16 and grabbed 10 rebounds.  Stevens knocked down 10-of-24 3-pointers and shot 46.7% (28-of-60) en route to the 13 point victory. 

The Ducks sprinted out to a 15-5 lead in the first 4:45 of the contest behind two consecutive 3-pointers from Thompson and five points from Jones.  The Pioneers responded with a 10-4 run of their own to cut the Stevens' lead to four points, 19-15, with 11:01 left in the first half.  A 10-2 run by the visitors in the next 5:19 extended the Ducks lead back to double-digits, as they led 29-17 with 4:56 remaingin the first half of play.  Stevens was able to maintain the 12 point lead through the half and took a 34-22 advantage into the locker room at intermission.

A 13-0 run in a span of 3:38 in the second half essentially sealed the victory for the 25th ranked team in the country as they registered their largest lead of the contest, 70-43, with 5:56 to go in the game.  UC scored the final ten points of the contest, which was part of a 16-2 run in the last 4:03 of play, but it was not enough as the visitors came away with a 13 point victory. 

Chris Jeffers (Albany, NY/Bishop Maginn) netted nine points and added five boards for UC, while Aaron Nevins (Buffalo, NY/Canisius) chipped in with eight points.  Freshman Robert Tutein (Nanuet, NY/Nanuet) came on late in the contest and scored five points for Utica on 2-of-2 shooting from the floor, while brothers Mark Felicia (Phoenix, NY/Phoenix) and Marty Felicia (Phoenix, NY/Phoenix) combined for five points in the final minutes.  Chaston Richardson (Middleton, NY/Middletown) netted his first collegiate 3-pointer and Dominique Nanton (New York, NY/Frederick Douglass II) also knocked down two free throws. 

31 of the Pioneers points came from their bench play, while the Ducks added 21 points off of turnovers.  Conversely, 66 of the Ducks 72 points came from their starting five.  Matt Skrelja dished out eight assists and added three steals.

The Pioneers return to the hardwood on Tuesday night when they travel to Union College to take on the Dutchmen at 7 p.m.

What's On