BUFFALO, N.Y. (February 24, 2018) – The SUNY Delhi men's basketball team made a valiant effort Friday to take down Maine Fort Kent in the NIAC Semifinals. Down by as much as ten points in the second half, the Broncos rallied to get to as close as two of the Bengals' lead in the final minute. MFK responded with five straight points to hand Delhi a 77-72 defeat.
The Broncos finished their noteworthy season at 15-15. Head coach Zack Thomsen's team overcame an 0-4 start to the season, and won as much as six consecutive games, while posting a 6-2 record versus NCAA Division III opponents. In addition, two of Delhi's defeats were determined in overtime. All three of the Broncos' meetings versus the Bengals this season were decided by six points or less, including a last-second 75-74 MFK win in November. Maine Fort Kent won the second meeting, 93-87, in January.
Payton Dean led the Broncos Friday with 17 points, while grabbing nine rebounds, including five offensive. Jordan Fragale earned a double-double with 16 points and 11 assists, along with six rebounds, while Jake Slobe netted ten points. Stephen Harten, in what would be his last career basketball game as a Bronco, recorded four points and a team-high ten boards; the senior shot a perfect 2-for-2 from the floor. William Knight added nine points and four rebounds, with Saquan Goland logging five points and eight rebounds.
The free throw line played factor in Friday's league semifinals, as SUNY Delhi made just 11-of-20 (55 percent), while Maine Fort Kent was successful on 19-of-23 attempts (82.6 percent). The Broncos also trailed on the boards by a 52-41 margin. Each side attempted 70 shots from the field, with Delhi making 26-of-70 (37.1 percent), while MFK edged ahead making 27-of-70 (38.6 percent). The Broncos won the 3-point battle, making 9-of-30 to the Bengals' 4-of-24, and led, 22-8, in bench points. MFK held a 44-30 lead in points in the paint and an 18-11 advantage in fastbreak points.
SUNY Delhi trailed Maine Fort Kent, 65-55, with 7:20 to play before netting seven straight points to trail, 65-62, with 4:52 to play. The Bengals then connected for six straight points for a 71-62 lead with 2:37 remaining. The Broncos made another final push, jumping on a 9-1 run to make MFK's lead a mere 72-70 with 44 seconds to play. The comeback was thwarted, however, by an ensuing Bobby Syvanthong 3-pointer with 16 ticks to go, followed by Anthony Knight free throws. Dean tacked on a layup with one second to play for Delhi's 2,342nd and final points of the season.