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The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

Men’s Basketball wins four of last six

Zach Thomann, Assistant Sports Editor

The Pioneer men’s basketball team had a slow start to the season going winless for their first nine games. However, during winter break, they captured their first win against Hartwick College. Since their breakthrough win on Jan. 5th, Utica basketball has won four of their last six games and despite a 4-12 overall record, they are 4-3 in the Empire 8 conference.

First year head coach, Sean Coffey, has lead his team to third place in the conference with hope to keep improving from last year’s season of a 4-12 record in Empire 8 games. Coffey still has work to do in order to catch the first place St. John Fisher Cardinals who are 6-0 in the league. Prior to this season, Coffey spent six years as an assistant for St. John Fisher, which included a conference championship in the 2014-2015 season.

“We want to reach a playoff spot in the league this year, but establishing a culture in my first year is the main focus,” Coffey said.

Coffey believes that having six freshmen and three transfer students on this year’s roster hurt them in the beginning of the season.

“Our non-conference schedule was tough this year,” Coffey said. “Most teams have a winning record now and we were not ready.”

Although Utica struggled early, Coffey thinks that their non-conference schedule has prepared them for the second half of the season.

Coffey pointed out Junior, Carl Taylor, as a difference maker for the team’s recent success. Taylor may not be averaging the most points, but Coffey acknowledges his skill as a perimeter defender and playmaker.

Other players who are having a good season include Junior, Ivan Iton, who leads the team in points per game (15.7) and rebounds per game (9.5). Freshman, Hunter Remley, has been the Pioneers most reliable three-point scorer. Remley has 33 made three point field goals this season while no other member of the team has reached double digits thus far.

Utica takes on Ithaca College on Thursday with hope that they keep their winning record in the conference.

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