By Khari Demos, Sports Editor
On Saturday Feb. 25, St. John Fisher men’s basketball hosts the Empire 8 conference championship game after defeating Nazareth for the third time on the season on Friday night, 76-69. The win sets up a tournament final against Stevens Institute of Technology, who took down Utica 79-71. Fisher swept Stevens in the regular season for the first time since the Ducks joined the Empire 8 conference in the 2006- 2007 season.
Cardinals forward Jake Haight paved the way with 16 points and 12 rebounds against Naz. Alex Sausville gave the crowd a few thrills crossing defenders up en route to his 15 points. Tyler English chipped in as well with 14 points, 2 blocks, and 2 steals.
The Ducks were paced by Spencer Cook’s 25 points in the win over Utica. Ryan Coffey and Patrick Barron scored 10 points a piece. Fisher will look to get behind conference offensive player of the year Keegan Ryan and will be challenged by Stevens and their fellow first team all-conference selection Evan Klimchak. Saturday’s game will tip off at 4 pm in the Manning and Napier varsity gym.
In other news, the St. John Fisher women’s basketball season was ended with a 62-58 loss to Stevens. Emily Piacentini had a career high of 21 points, while Maria Kelleher netted 10 points and 7 rebounds. Caroline Robertson also had 9 points and 6 boards.
The Cardinals season ends with a 12-14 record overall. Caroline Robertson was the team leader in three categories with 13.0 points per game, 6.6 rebounds, and 39.6% from three. Emily Piacentini was second with her 10.3 points and team high 3.2 assists. Fisher will look to regroup, with potentially 13 players returning for the 2017-2018 season.