Zach Thomann, Assistant Sports Editor
The Pioneer men’s basketball team defeated Nazareth College Thursday night 66-58 behind a combined 42 points from Juniors Carl Taylor and Ivan Iton.
After a one point loss to Stevens Institute of Technology in its last outing, Utica College had a great start against the Nazareth Golden Flyers. Taylor and Iton scored Utica’s first 14 points of the game while holding Nazareth to 2-12 shooting.
The run gave the Pioneers a 17-4 lead; but after the Golden Flyers came back with a run of its own, Utica had just a five-point lead going into halftime.
Neither team pulled ahead in the second half and the highest lead was only six points. The pioneers maintained the lead that was built in the first half and held on for its sixth victory in conference play.
Iton proved why he was named the Empire 8 athlete of the week with another solid performance. Iton scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Taylor had an efficient game shooting 9-14 from the field to score 21 points of his own.
The loss snaps Nazareth’s five game winning streak and moves them to 7-4 in Empire 8 games. Utica’s win puts them in fourth place in the conference with another opportunity to make up ground on Saturday against top-seeded St. John Fisher College.