The Mighty Oaks men's basketball team traveled to Brooklyn and came away with a hard-fought win over Pratt Institute, 83-74.
The Mighty Oaks jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead early in the game. The Cannoneers pulled within one, 14-13, then went on a 15-4 run over the next six minutes to surge ahead 34-22. ESF countered with 11 unanswered points to close the gap 36-33 at the half. Senior Ryan Caldwell led all ESF scorers at the half with 13 points and six rebounds.
The Mighty Oaks opened the second half on a 17-4 run and held Pratt to just 1-for-12 shooting and took a 54-46 lead with under 10 to play. Pratt fought back, hitting five three-pointers to regain the lead, 63-61 but a basket by junior Cory Rogers then gave ESF the lead for good as the Mighty Oaks held off another Pratt run and sealed the win from the free throw line 83-74 giving the Mighty Oaks their 10th win on the season.
ESF shot a scorching 71 percent (20 of 28) from the field in the second half. Caldwell led ESF with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Senior Dan Treadwell added 18 points and junior Tyler Kuhn contributed a double-double, with 12 points, 11 rebounds. Pratt senior forward Ari Grant led his team with 29 points and 17 rebounds.
Pratt falls to 5-9 with the loss, 2-4 in HVIAC conference play.
The following day, the Mighty Oaks faced two-time defending USCAA national champions Berkeley College who are 22-0 this season and have won 45 straight games dating from last season. ESF gave the champs a bit of a fight half way through the first half, keeping things tight at 25-30 led by some hot shooting from Jared Bard. Ultimately the two day swing of games and the Knights swarming D was too much for the Oaks as Berkeley closed the opening frame on a 23-8 run and ultimately keeping their winning streak alive with a 104-70 win over ESF. Caldwell led the way for ESF with 16 points. The Knights had five players score double digits, led by freshman Paul Johnson's 17 points.
ESF's record stands at 10-9, 4-2 in HVIAC conference play, the most wins to date for the young ESF Basketball program. The team has two regular-season games remaining, at Davis College Feb. 8, and versus the College of New Rochelle Feb. 11, senior day, as the team looks to clinch its second consecutive trip to the HVIAC Playoffs.