Yellowjackets tame Tigers in home opener

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HENRIETTA, N.Y. – Rochester used its balance and depth to post a 68-43 men’s basketball victory over RIT at Clark Gymnasium in the season opener for the Yellowjackets. RIT is 1-1 overall. The Tigers defeated SUNY Cobleskill in their season opener three days earlier.

The scoring was a bit haphazard. RIT blocked nine Rochester shots and used its muscle inside to keep the board battle level at 21-21. Rochester had a slim edge in the final totals, 42-39, because UR outrebounded RIT 17-5 at the Tiger end of the floor in the last 20 minutes.

Jacob Wittig had 11 points, two assists, four rebounds, and three steals. Trent Noordsij finished with 10 points – two treys and 4-4 at the foul line. He was the first player to get to double figures in scoring  – when he hit two free throws with just over 10 minutes to play.

The Rochester players found ways to contribute. Ryan Clamage’s shot wasn’t falling, but he grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and handed out four assists to go with seven points. Steph Peters-Smith had eight points. Alexander Gamble scored six, had three assists, two rebounds, one block and one steal – in 13 minutes.

Peters-Smith hit two buckets in an early 10-2 run that put UR up, 16-12. Patrick Benka sank a trey at the key and Wittig hit a 10 footer just outside the lane.

RIT hung tough, getting a couple of treys . The hosts stayed within three, 26-23, after a steal and layup by Matt Anderson with just over four minutes left. UR closed the half on a 10-2 run – four points from Clamage, a layup by Ryan Algier (Fairport) (who also blocked three shots for the night), two free throws by Noordsij, and a putback by Gamble., It was 36-25 at intermission.

In the second half, the lead grew to 19 (48-29) on Noordsij’s three-pointer. RIT’s shooting was cold (28%, 11% outside the arc) but a trey by Marcell Davis  and an 18-footer by Michael Young cut it to 48-34. Rochester scored 12 of the next 15 points and it was 60-37 with the clock below five minutes.

The Yellowjackets will open the home season on Friday at 6 pm in the Chuck Resler Invitational. The 3 pm game matches Cabrini College against Baldwin Wallace College. Rochester will play Houghton College in the other semifinal. The consolation game is Saturday at 2 pm and the championship game is set for 4 pm.

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