March 7, 2009

CANTON, NY, March 6, 2009 - Junior guard Diloo Brown (Harlem, NY) poured in a game-high 21 points and sophomore forward David Golembiowski (Barneveld, NY) added 20 points to lead SUNYIT to an 85-77 win over Elms College in Friday night's first round of the 2009 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship at the Burkman Gymnasium on the campus of St. Lawrence University.

SUNYIT (23-6), which was making its first-ever NCAA Division III Championship appearance, advanced to Saturday night's second round to face host St. Lawrence, which defeated Brooklyn College in Friday night's other first round game.

The Blazers, who were making their fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship, had their program-record 16-game win streak snapped to finish with a school-record 26-2 mark.

Junior guard Juan Galdon (Holyoke, MA) matched Brown's game-high total of 21 points, as he finished 8 of 14 from the field, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range in 26 minutes for Elms College.

The Blazers trailed 74-73 before Brown drained a pair of free throws to extend SUNYIT's lead to 76-73 with 2:12 remaining.

Brown then added three more free throws over the next 47 seconds to give the Wildcats what proved to be an insurmountable 79-73 advantage with 1:25 left.

Although Galdon and senior forward Malakie Berry (Enfield, CT) added layups over the next 27 seconds to cut the Blazers' deficit to 79-77, the Wildcats added six more free throws in the closing seconds to seal their first-ever NCAA Division III Championship victory.

Sophomore guard Dan Gonzalez (East Windsor, CT) finished with 11 points and sophomore forward Juan Alverio (Toa Baja, Puerto Rico) added 10 points for Elms College, which was limited to just 34.5-percent shooting.

The Blazers jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead in the game's opening 3:12 before SUNYIT exploded for a 26-12 run over the next 9:12 to grab the largest lead of the half by either team at 28-20.

Golembiowski exploded for three 3-pointers during the run and finished with 16 first half points on 6 of 11 shooting, including 4 of 7 from beyond the arc to help the Wildcats grab a slim 43-42 lead at intermission.

Galdon finished 5 of 7 from the field and 2 of 2 from 3-point range to lead the Blazers with 12 first half points, while Alverio added all 10 of his points in just 11 minutes of action in the opening 20 minutes.

The first half featured a total of four ties and seven lead changes.

SUNYIT connected on 55.2-percent shooting from the field (16 of 29), including 6 of 11 from 3-point range in the first half, while Elms College shot just 39-percent (16 of 41) and 6 of 18 from three.