Nazareth College Men Win a Close One on the Court Against Rival St. John Fisher
Rochester, NY – Host Nazareth shot the lights out in the first half (63 percent) to build a 16-point halftime margin and hung on for a 77-74 win Saturday over St. John Fisher in the Battle of the Beaks. Tyler Stenglein paced Nazareth with 23 points.
With the win, Nazareth (18-6 overall, 13-2 Empire 8) remains in control of its own destiny and can claim the Empire 8 regular season championship on Tuesday with a win it its final regular season contest at Alfred. The Golden Flyers, who hold a head-to-head tie-breaker with Stevens (18-5 overall, 12-2 E8) after beating them twice, could also win the regular season title with a loss at Alfred if Stevens were to lose one of its next two games (Elmira, Utica). The regular season champion hosts the four-team Empire 8 Championships February 23/24.
As part of the Battle of the Beaks, Nazareth presented a check to the Golisano Children's Hospital Music Therapy program at halftime for $5,310. The money was raised through t-shirt and ticket sales, along with 50-50 raffle.
After leading by as many as 21 in the second half, Fisher slowly made it a 10-point game with 5:13 on the clock.
Nazareth kept the visitors in the game late, scoring just one field goal over the final 5:13 and failing to convert all of its free throws.
Fisher's Dennis Hare canned two free throws with :04 seconds remaining and on the ensuing possession, Stenglein was fouled immediately for the double bonus. The senior drilled the first, to make it 77-74, before a miss on the second allowed Fisher a chance to tie the game on a three-quarter court shot as time expired.
Nazareth built a 16 point halftime lead behind torrid shooting, in which it shot 17-for-27 (63 percent), including 9-for-12 from 3-point land.
Stenglein got the crowd involved early, draining his first four 3-pointers and Nazareth started the game connecting on its first seven from long range. His fourth 3-pointer pushed Nazareth's lead to 22-13.
A momentum builder came when Stephen Gabel grabbed a loose ball on the ground, feeding a cutting Stenglein, who converted with the contact for a traditional 3-point play. That made it 41-28. He paced the squad with 16 points in the half as Nazareth led 45-29.
Jake Burgio (5-for-9) and Gabel (4-for-5) each finished with 11 points.
Daniel Jacob contributed seven points, while Brendan Wind had six points and four assists.