After a rough week on the road with two losses, the ESF men's basketball team returned to the comfort of its home court to pick up two wins against HVIAC conference foes.
The first of the back-to-back games pitted ESF against Culinary Institute of America. The Mighty Oaks jumped out to a huge 70-11 halftime lead, setting a school record for most points in a half. ESF piled on another 34 points in the second half to finish with a 104-32 win over the Steels. The 72-point victory was the most lopsided win in program history.
Senior Ryan Caldwell led ESF with 24 points and four other Mighty Oaks scored in double digits. ESF shot 55 percent for the game, including sinking 12 three-pointers.
The following day, ESF faced the Purple Knights of The King's College. Once again, ESF dominated the first half, scoring 51 points and holding the Purple Knights to only 22 points. ESF went on to win 89-42. Caldwell led ESF with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Junior center Tyler Kuhn and senior Dan Treadwell chipped in 12 points apiece. The King's College was led by Trivette Knowles' 21 points.
With the two wins, ESF opens conference play with a 2-0 record, 8-7 overall. With eight wins so far in the 2016-17 season, ESF has tied its win total from last year. The Mighty Oaks face a tough match on the road Jan. 18 against conference rivals Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
The previous week, the Mighty Oaks started off the new year with three-straight road losses.
The squad faced off against crosstown rival Onondaga Community College Jan. 4 and the Lazers defeated the Mighty Oaks, 97-66. The beginning of the first half was close, with the teams exchanging baskets, resulting in four lead changes. The Lazers went on a 10-0 run midway through the half to pull ahead and take a 54-32 lead at half time. The Lazers continued their strong play throughout the second half and came away with a 97-66 win. Four Lazers scored in double figures, led by Quantae Elijah's 26 points. Caldwell scored 19 points for ESF while Kuhn chipped in 10 points.
The Mighty Oaks then traveled to Pennsylvania where they faced Penn State Lehigh Valley Jan. 7. ESF played hard but came up short in a 101-82 loss to the Nittany Lions. Senior Jared Bard led ESF with 17 points. Freshman Ben Russ IV added 11 points. The Nittany Lions recorded four players with 19 points each.
The following day, ESF traveled to Delhi, New York to face USCAA rival SUNY Delhi. The talented Broncos team overwhelmed the Mighty Oaks, 83-61. Caldwell led ESF once again with 23 points and seven rebounds. Kuhn added a double-double, 15 points and 15 rebounds.