Playing at home is supposed to be an advantage for your own shooters. Friday at Tompkins Cortland Community College, the advantage seemed to go the visitors as SUNY Broome came to Dryden and shot its way to an 89-82 defeat of the Panthers. Tompkins Cortland falls to 6-12 overall and 1-6 in the Mid-State Athletic Conference with the result, while Broome is now 5-15 overall and 2-5 in the MSAC.
The Panthers didn't shoot poorly as a team, making nearly 45% from the floor, but the Hornets just were better. Broome made 50% from the floor for the game, including nearly 54% in the second half. The hot shooting included making 12 of 26 from three-point range and even extended to the free throw line where the Hornets went 17-of-22, including an impressive 15-of-18 in the second half. The shooting performance made up for a slight Panther advantage in rebounds (39-37) and the fact the Hornet turned the ball over 12 times, compared to just 8 for the Panthers.
The game was tight most of the way, with the biggest lead coming when Broome went up 33-23 midway through the first half. A run by the Panthers closed the gap, and actually put the Panthers up late, but Broome scored the last bucket of the half to led 42-41 at the break. The Panthers scored the first four points of the second half to lead 45-42, but Broome regained the lead with five straight points. The Panthers responded over the next few minutes, moving back in front 52-49 with 14:21 left, but Broome answered with seven straight points to lead 56-52. The lead change was the last of the game as the Panthers were able to pull within a point with 11:58 left, but couldn't get all the way back as the Hornets slowly stretched the lead to eight points with two minutes left and the held on with strong free throw shooting in the losing minutes.
Our Panthers scored in double figures, with Tahleek Weekes (South Queens/Construction H.S.) leading the way with 24 points. Jonathan Baker (Staten Island/Curtis H.S.) finished with 19 points and Shareef Ali (Queens/Martin Van Buren H.S.) had 12 points and a team-bet 4 assists. Mario Antenor (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla./Coconut Creek) chipped in with 10 points and 8 boards while Shakel Cofield (Westbury/Westbury H.S.) led the team with 10 rebounds.
The Panthers and Hornets hook up again Sunday in a make-up from a game that was postponed last month. The teams tip-off at 1 p.m. in Binghamton.