Basketball men and women open season 1-1

The men's basketball team competed in the University of Rochester Tournament on Nov. 17 and 18. The women took part in the Babson College Tip Off Tournament. Both teams finished with a record of 1-1, and are prepared to head to into conference play.

The men dropped their first game of the tournament, losing to Lake Erie 85-76 on Friday. Junior forward Tarik Kitson led the team with a career-high 25 points, making 10 of 14 shots while grabbing six rebounds. Senior forward Greg Spears added 13 points with four rebounds and senior guard Brian Bennett led the team with 10 assists. Senior guard Nick Kelley, senior forward Scott Sciera and sophomore guard Scott Morton each added eight points. Morton had seven assists and Sciera led the team with eight rebounds.

The men bounced back to win their next game 78-67 against Ithaca on Saturday. Sciera led the way with 19 points and two rebounds while Morton added 18 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Junior guard Joe Kling scored 11 points with four rebounds. Kitson led the team with 11 rebounds and chipped in seven points. Bennett had seven points and five assists.

Morton was named to the All-Tournament team with solid play in both games. "The choice of Morton was a good one. He had a great tournament and played especially well in the final minutes," said head coach Steve Minton. Morton was not the only strong player, as Minton felt that Kitson and Sciera also gave performances worth recognition.

The team had set a number of goals earlier in the week, and winning the tournament was one of them. "We felt that we had the talent to win the tournament, but we had a little trouble taking care of the ball in the first game," said Minton. "We bounced back well and got a good win against a strong Ithaca team." Minton added that it was a lot better starting 1-1 than 0-2.

The women lost their first game 84-68 against Bates College. Junior forward Annie Verdino led the team with 21 points and nine rebounds. Senior guard Katy Irving added 16 points and seven rebounds, making four of seven shots from three-point range. Junior forward Amanda Haney scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Jamie Scordino added eight points and sophomore Bridget Riley added six points.

They came back the next day to defeat Colby College by a score of 76-60. Verdino again led the team with 25 points, shooting eight of 13 from the field and making eight free throws. She also brought down seven rebounds. Junior guard Merrissa Wilson added 16 points and had a team-leading five assists. Haney had 15 points and six rebounds, while junior guard Lydia Reed added seven points and four rebounds.

Verdino was named to the All-Tournament team, with 46 points and 16 rebounds over the two games. Coach Kris Ruffo was proud of how the team competed, especially since they were facing off against some tough competition from outside of the region. "Everyone on the team contributed, and we looked sharper than we did at the end of last season," added Ruffo. The women have a tough test against Oswego, who are the defending champions. "They are the team to beat, and we fully expect to be in the game and compete until the end," said Ruffo.