Graham Scores 32 in Skyline Loss at Purchase

Matthew Graham shooting a 3
Matthew Graham

Purchase - 96, Farmingdale State - 86

Purchase, N.Y. - The Farmingdale State men's basketball team traveled to Purchase College on Thursday night for a Skyline Conference matchup and were defeated, 96-86.

Trailing 31-19 with 7:43 left to play in the first half, FSC (9-6, 7-3) used an Ali Mableton (Brentwood, N.Y.) layup and four free-throws by junior guard Troy Feeney (Hewlett, N.Y.) over the next 2:25 to cut the deficit to six, 31-25.

After Purchase's (7-6, 5-4) Michael Soffer (Agoura Hills, Calif.) hit a pair at the line with 4:26 remaining to bring the advantage back to eight, senior guard Matthew Graham (Valley Stream, N.Y.) connected on a 3 the next time down the court for the Rams. Junior guard Elijah Lott (East Greenbush, N.Y.) quickly responded with a 3-pointer for the Panthers before Farmingdale State closed the half on a 10-3 run to go into the break down, 41-40. Graham led all scorers with 10 first half points, while Lott and senior guard Willie Britton (Queens, N.Y.) each had nine points for Purchase.

Over the opening 2:35 of the second half, Graham scored all of FSC's points after hitting three 3's and two free-throws to give the Rams a five-point edge, 51-46.

Leading 60-58 with 11:53 on the clock, Farmingdale State converted back-to-back Purchase turnovers into four points as Graham was 2-for-2 at the line and senior forward George Riefenstahl (Bayport, N.Y.) made a layup to increase the advantage to six.

After a Maxx Miller (While Plains, N.Y.) layup with 9:25 remaining pulled PC within three, 64-61, a quick 8-1 run over the next 1:18 put the FSC on top, 72-62. The Panthers answered with a 12-1 spurt, which saw a pair of 3-pointers by Soffer, to take their first lead since the start of the second half, 74-73. A Riefenstahl layup and free-throw after being fouled with 4:59 left to play ended the Purchase run but two straight baskets and a pair of Britton free-throws again put the Panthers out in front, 80-76.

With 3:52 remaining, Purchase held an 80-78 advantage and outscored Farmingdale State 9-2 over the next 1:51 to open up a nine-point lead. The Panthers were only 5-for-10 at the line down the stretch but held on for the 96-86 home victory.

Graham bested his career-high which was set in FSC's last game by scoring 32 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 6-for-8 from behind the arc. He was a perfect 10-of-10 from the free-throw line and is now ranked second in the Skyline Conference by shooting 90-percent from the line this season. Riefenstahl finished the night with 17 points, while Mableton added 13 points.

Purchase had five double-digit scorers led by Britton's team-high 26 points to go along with seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Soffer and sophomore guard Jorge Perdomo (Bronx, N.Y.) each scored 16, while Lott pitched in with 15 points and six rebounds. Miller, who was 4-of-4 from the field, scored 10 points in the win.

Farmingdale State next will travel to St. Joseph's-Long Island on Saturday, January 12th for a Skyline Conference game tipping off at 3:00 p.m.