Golden Eagles in Sweet 16

By on March 12, 2020

After winning their first SUNYAC championship since 2014, Brockport advanced to the NCAA playoffs and defeated Coast Guard and Middlebury on the home court to advance to the Sweet-16 where they will host Tufts on March 14.

There were seven lead changes in the first half against Coast Guard, and Brockport trailed by as many as six points before going on a 10-3run to take the lead. Graduate student Tyler Collins nailed a half-court buzzer-beater to end the first half with the Golden Eagles leading by four points.

“I just saw the time and I mess around with those (shots) in practice all the time,” Collins said about his half-court basket.

Back-to-back field goals by Devante Hagins, a lay-up by Jahidi Wallace, and a three-pointer from Brockport High grad Antonio Alvarez extended the lead to nine points and it became ten points, later, as Montgomery Stroman scored six of his 11 points and senior Justin Summers a bank shot with less than three minutes remaining.

But the Bears cut it down to a four-point deficit with four seconds remaining before Stroman calmly hit a pair of free throws to seal the 92-86 victory.

They followed one night later by defeating Middlebury 84-81.

“Our game plan going in was to attack them, but in the first half it was the first guy in, so we talked about it at halftime about ball movement and not the first person in taking the shot or attempt to take it to the rack, but spread it out and get them to chase and it would open up everything,” Collins said.

“When I was a sophomore it was the (my) first time making the NCAA tournament and coach told me the other day that I was going to have a good game, so coming into this game I went to my teammates, because this is a team game and we need everyone,” Summers said.

Brockport had two players register double-doubles in the first game as Wallace had 14 points while adding ten rebounds. Hagins netted a game-high 14 boards to go with his 13 points. Collins led the Golden Eagles with 16 points and nine assists, Summers added 15 points, Stroman finished with 11 points, and Alvarez chipped in ten. The Golden Eagles outscored the Bears 54-36 in the paint and received 31 points from their bench.

Brockport is in the Sweet 16 for the sixth time in program history. They improved their record to 26-3 on the year, tying the program mark for the second most wins in a single season. They have won 19 games in a row, dating back to January 11, which ties the program’s all-time record for consecutive wins set back in the early 1970s. The team is undefeated (15-0) this season at home.

NCAA basketball

Tyler Collins. Photo by Warren Kozireski