The Utica College men’s basketball team lost to non-conference opponent SUNY Canton on Tuesday night 79-58.
SUNY Canton started off hot in this one as they entered half with a 22-point lead. The Pioneers were unable to fix the problem that SUNY Canton was causing as they dominated the paint.
After a slow start in the first half, the Pioneers came out of the locker room ready to make a comeback. UC went out on a 13-0 run to cut the lead to nine and apparently what head coach Chris Connolly said at halftime had an impact.
“I didn’t say anything to fire them up. I think we just talked about doing the things we expect to do, which is playing hard with effort,” Connolly said. “I think in the second half we definitely came out and played with the effort that we can play with and that’s why the game came down to nine with about ten minutes to go.”
There was a turning point in the game when senior guard Robert Tutein had a chance to cut the lead down to six, but unfortunately it didn’t go the Pioneers’ way.
“Rob had a good look at a three that would have cut it to six but it went in and out and we were kind of chasing our tail again after that,” Connolly said. “There was no big speech, it was let’s play like we are capable; play with effort, come out and play hard.”
Tutein led the team with ten points, four rebounds and three blocks. Sophomore Carl Taylor also had a solid performance with ten points and five assists. The tough loss against SUNY Canton didn’t sit well with Tutein, and he plans to work hard to prepare for the next game.
“It wasn’t what I needed to be,” Tutein said. “It’s just flat out effort, playing hard, playing with each other and playing unselfish. We got to pick it up, and if we don’t, it’s going to be a long season. We have a lot of potential and I don’t want to say this all season, but we have the potential to have a great season.”
This leaves Utica with a 2-4 record, but there is plenty of time to turn it around. UC travels to Pennsylvania next Monday to play Misericordia University at 6 p.m.
“As of right now we are going to look at the film and try to correct the mistakes that we made and get back on track with a win down in Misericordia,” Connolly said.