Naz’s strong second half leads to win over Hartwick

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ONEONTA, N.Y. — Visiting Nazareth outscored Hartwick 55-38 in the second half Sunday as the Golden Flyers rallied past the Hawks for an 81-72 men’s basketball victory in Empire 8 Conference action.

The win was the ninth in a row for the Golden Flyers and the 12th in the last 13 games as they improved to 18-4 overall and 10-1 in the Empire 8. Hartwick is 11-11 overall and 3-8 in the E8. It was Nazareth’s second win this season over the Hawks as the Golden Flyers were able to maintain their hold on first place in the E8 standings by virtue of a head-to-head win over St. John Fisher. Nazareth also was able to gain a weekend road sweep of conference games after also defeating Elmira Saturday.

It was another balanced offensive display for the Golden Flyers, who had five players with double-digit scoring totals. Senior Cody Green led the way with 18 points, including four three-pointers. Stephen Gabel (Fairport) added 17 and Zach Stenglein (Irondequoit) 15. Jonathan Park posted a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 14 rebounds and Kevin Underwood scored 11 points.

Nazareth trailed by as many as 11 points late in the first half, but Green made a three-pointer just before the halftime horn to close the gap to 34-26 at the break. Hartwick was able to regain its double-digit cushion, 48-38, following a three-point play by Austin Haskell, who led all scorers with 26 points.

A nine-point scoring run got the Golden Flyers back within striking distance and they finally tied the score at 52-52 on a basket by Gabel with 9:40 to go. Green followed with a pair of free throws for the first lead since early in the game.

The score was tied again at 64-64 with less than five minutes to play, but Nazareth got a basket by Stenglein and a three-pointer from Gabel to regain the lead for good at 69-64. Hartwick stayed close, but Isaac Nelson also buried a key three-pointer with 2:43 left to keep the Golden Flyers ahead. Nazareth also canned some free throws down the stretch with Underwood sinking four and Green two to seal the win.

Nazareth has three regular-season games left, including two home games this weekend — Friday against Utica at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday against Sage at 2. The last game is Feb. 22 at St. John Fisher at 2 p.m.

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