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FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Saturday, January 27, 2018
Hudson Valley Community College men's basketball (6-12) made 14 of their 15 free throws in the second half to hold off and defeat No.2 ranked Herkimer 75-63 at home in the McDonough Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon.
The win snapped an 18-game losing streak against the Herkimer Generals. The last time the Vikings defeated Herkimer was on Jan. 24, 2009 when they won on the road 71-69 in overtime.
The Vikings jumped out to an early double digit lead thanks to a 13-2 run in the opening minutes of the game. Hudson Valley expanded its lead on one of the nation's top programs and entered the half with a 31-11 advantage.
Hudson Valley came out of the gates in the second half with a 7-1 run and continued their clutch shooting throughout the half. Taylor Slattery (Moriah/Moriah) scored five straight points in the first four minutes of the second half. Slattery hit a three-pointer at the top of the key and later added to the Vikings lead with a soft runner in the paint. Mitchell Dame (Niskayuna/Niskayuna) converted on a contested underhand scoop shot with his left hand to put the Vikings up by 30 points, 51-21. Dame finished with a game-high 23 points and has now surpassed the 20-point plateau for the fourth time this season.
Herkimer responded with a pair of long runs, including a 12-0 run to bring the Generals within striking distance after trailing the Vikings by as many as 30 points. The Vikings always found an answer on the offensive side of the ball as Herkimer tried to claw back into the game.
Following a 7-0 run, Herkimer closed the gap to nine points but could not get any closer as the Vikings continued to hit clutch shot after shot. Brandon Degrasse (Bronx/E.A. Reynolds) hit a floater in the paint to put the Vikings up 62-51. Dave Reo (North Greenbush/Catholic Central) stopped a couple of late Herkimer runs as he scored four straight points with less than two minutes remaining in the game, including a tough left-handed layup in traffic to give the Vikings a 66-55 advantage.
The Vikings have now won two straight games following a rocky start to the spring semester and improved to 6-12 overall. Hudson Valley travels to play Broome tomorrow, Sunday, Jan. 28 at 3 p.m.