Seasoned veterans plus new talent equals the same results for the Rochester men’s basketball team. The Rochester basketball faithful had the opportunity to see the men’s basketball pick up where they left off last season – winning games. Head Coach Mike Neer talked about his team finding an “identity” before the season started. Although it is very early in the season, the Yellowjackets have shown the potential to be among the nation’s elite teams once again.
Playing five home games in nine days provided Rochester with a handful of early-season tests. The men’s basketball team responded with four straight wins and a hard-fought loss in the champion game of the Holiday Inn Airport Invitational.
The men opened their season with an 84-56 victory on Nov. 19. Seniors Seth Hauben and Brendan McAllister showcased their experience and talent with a dominant inside-outside attack. Hauben punished Fredonia State in the post with his first double-double of the season – 20 points and 16 rebounds. When Fredonia double teamed Seth, he found McAllister on the perimeter. McAllister answered in a big way, scorching the nets for a career high 18 points, with 15 of those points coming from outside the three point arc. McAllister credits former teammates for leadership on the court.
“I had many veteran players before me who were able to help me out immensely, simply through the example they set by their action, and now I am able use my role as a leader on this year’s team both vocally and through my own example,” McAllister said.
Tournament MVP Seth Hauben scored 25 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead the men’s basketball team to a 75-61 victory over Stevens Institute of Technology in the Chuck Resler Championship game. Sharp shooter McAllister joined Hauben on the All-Tournament Team by scoring 15 points – all in the second half. Freshman guard Jeff Juron scored 18 points, including four three-point goals in the first half.
Rochester won the Resler tournament with a team effort, but Hauben was unstoppable. He finished with 45 points and 32 rebounds in two games. He broke the rebounding mark of 31 and became the first player to win the MVP award more than once.
Three days later the Yellowjackets downed Nazareth College with a 76-53 victory to improve their record 3-0. The Yellowjackets sank a season’s high 11 three-point goals enroute to the victory. Senior Ryan Mee sank four treys and scored 12 points to lead the yellow jacket guards. McAllister hit three of his own and Joe Canty nailed two from downtown. Freshmen forward Jon Onyiriuka posted 12 points and 4 rebounds.
Rochester’s offense executed an all-around scoring effort with four players scoring in double figures in a victory over Clarkson University, 79-57, in the first round of the Holiday Inn Airport Invitational this past weekend. Rochester past weekend. Rochester used a balanced offensive attack. Ryan Mee lit up the scoreboard for18 points and Onyiriuka cleaned the glass with 15 rebounds and 14 points.
TheYellowjackets first loss came at the hands of visiting Wisconsin-Superior. Superior held Rochester without a field goal for seven minutes in the second half and held on for a 72-67 win. Joe Canty pulled Rochester within a point, 65-64, when he sank a deep three-pointer with 2:42 to play. Superior’s pressure defense and good free-throw shooting in the last minutes sealed the deal. Seth Hauben and Jon Onyiriuka were named to the All-Tournament team.
Hauben was also named the University Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week ending Nov. 21.
The Yellowjackets defeated Elmira College 78-50 on Dec. 1 and square up against a tough and experienced Carnegie Mellon University on Dec. 4 for their conference opener.
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