#1 Farmingdale State - 104, #4 Purchase - 68
Farmingdale, N.Y. - The top-seeded Farmingdale State men's basketball team hosted #4 Purchase College in the Skyline Conference Semifinals this evening and won, 104-68. The Rams will now play host to #2 Yeshiva University in the Finals on Sunday.
Down 10-7 in the early going, FSC (19-7) used a layup from senior guard Ali Mableton (Brentwood, N.Y.) and a pair of free-throws by junior guard Troy Feeney (Hewlett, N.Y.) to take a one-point advantage. Farmingdale State extended their lead to five, 15-10, on a jumper by junior guard Anthony Miller Jr. (Yonkers, N.Y.) and a dunk from senior forward George Riefenstahl (Bayport, N.Y.).
The Panthers (16-11) responded with a 9-0 run, including six points from junior guard Maxx Miller (White Plains, N.Y.), to go in front, 19-15.
Trailing 22-20 with 5:37 left in the first half, Riefenstahl recorded four straight points to put the Rams ahead, 24-22. After Purchase knocked down a 3 to regain the lead, Riefenstahl tallied back-to-back layups before senior guard Matthew Graham (Valley Stream, N.Y.) registered a jumper to give FSC a 30-25 advantage.
The Panthers cut the deficit to three at 32-29 with 1:52 remaining, but Farmingdale State closed the half on a 6-3 run to take a 38-32 advantage.
Riefenstahl led all scorers with 16 first half points, while Graham produced 11 points in the first 20 minutes.
After each team made a basket to start the second half, the Rams went on a 9-3 run, including seven points by Mableton, to take a 49-37 lead.
With 15 minutes to play, Farmingdale State went up by 19, 56-37, after a layup each by Riefenstahl and junior guard Ryan Kennedy (Maspeth, N.Y.) and a 3 from Miller Jr.
FSC led 60-42 with 12:15 remaining and used another Miller Jr. 3-pointer and two baskets from Graham to go in front by 25 at 67-42. After a Purchase layup, Graham tallied six straight points before junior guard Chaz Platt (Jamaica, N.Y.) connected on a 3-pointer and junior forward Jermaine Fraser (Valley Stream, N.Y.) registered a dunk to go up 78-44.
Still leading by 34, 84-50, with 5:35 left, FSC used an 8-0 run, which featured 3's from both Kennedy and Miller Jr., to take their largest lead of the game, 92-50. The Rams would go on for the 104-68 victory.
Graham shot 8-for-11 from the floor and tallied a team-high 21 points. Mableton recorded 20 points (9-13 FG), five rebounds and three assists, while Riefenstahl finished with 18 points (8-13 FG) and a game-high 12 rebounds. Miller Jr. went 3-for-4 from behind the arc and produced 11 points off the bench and both Kennedy and junior guard Kyle Beeson (South Jamaica, N.Y.) had seven points in the win.
For Purchase, senior guard Willie Britton (Queens, N.Y.) tallied a game-high 24 points.
In the other Skyline Semifinal game, #2 Yeshiva earned a 103-70 victory over #3 Old Westbury.
Farmingdale State will now host #2 Yeshiva in the Finals on Sunday, February 24th at 1:00 p.m. The winner of that game will receive the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.