The Mighty Oaks fell to Alfred State, 69-61, in a closely contested game played at Allyn Gymnasium on the OCC campus.
The Pioneers jumped out to an early 9-4 lead. An 8-0 run by ESF put the Mighty Oaks ahead, 12-9. Strong play from juniors Justin VanDuLuitgaarden and David Loewen and sharpshooting by freshman Henry Pflaumer helped extend ESF's lead to 25-20 toward the end of the first half. Alfred State managed to tie up the score, 26-26, at the half.
In the second half, freshman Cole Paradies came off the bench and hit three three-pointers in a row to give ESF a 56-53 lead with five minutes remaining. The Pioneers were able to score in transition to take back the lead, 59-58. Crucial turnovers by ESF in the final minutes helped Alfred State pull away with the 69-61 victory.
Freshman Zach Dormer led ESF with a career-high 17 points. ESF falls to 2-8 overall with the loss. Alfred State wins its fifth straight game and improves to 9-3 overall. The Mighty Oaks open HVIAC conference play on the road against Vaughn College Jan. 10 in Queens, New York. After the matchup against Vaughn, the Mighty Oaks will play two straight conference games on the road in the New York City area: College of New Rochelle Jan. 13 and The King's College Jan. 14.