P U R C H A S E C O L L E G E – SUNY
MEN’S BASKETBALL RECAP
Panthers Win Skyline Crown, Coast into NCAAs
Defeat No. 2 SJC in Semis, Topple No. 1 OW in Final
Old Westbury, NY (Feb. 27, 2009) – They have the best scoring team in
the conference (77.3 ppg).
They have the top scorer in the league (Marvin Billups).
They have the conference leader in steals (Justin Walters – for the second straight season).
They have the top Sixth Man (Michael McNair).
Oh, and you can add 2010 Skyline Conference Tournament champions to a growing list of
accolades and achievements for the greatest men’s basketball team in Purchase College
history. Third-seeded Purchase opened with a strong first half and defeated top-seeded SUNY
College at Old Westbury 92-79 on Saturday night at the Clark Athletic Center to capture the
Skyline Conference men's basketball championship and earn the conference's automatic bid to
the NCAA Division III Championship.
Purchase celebrates its first basketball title of the NCAA era Saturday night at Old Westbury. The Panthers
upset top-seeded OW 92-79. PHOTO COURTESY OF SKYLINE CONFERENCE
Purchase (20-8), which earned its first-ever NCAA bid in men's basketball, completed an
improbable climb from the bottom of the Skyline Conference standings in just two years. In
2007-08, the Panthers finished last in the conference at 3-22 overall and 2-16 in the
Purchase head coach Jeff Charney, who took over midway through that season, rebuilt
Purchase into a championship contender, leading the squad to a 15-11 overall record and a 10-
8 mark last season. This year's team finished third in the conference at 14-6.
Co-captain Marvin Billups (JR/Chester, NY) led Purchase with a game-high 26 points while
fellow co-captain Corey Orgias (JR/Highland Mills, NY) added 20 points and seven rebounds
as the Panthers handed Old Westbury (20-7) its first loss at home in 13 games this season.
Purchase stormed out to a 52-30 halftime lead, shooting a blistering 76.9 percent (20-for-26) in
the opening half. The Panthers could seemingly do no wrong, going 8-for-9 (88.9 percent) from
3-point range in the opening period.
The game was tied 13-13 with 14:03 left in the first half when Purchase exploded by going on a
25-2 run over the next six minutes. Michael McNair (JR/Valley Cottage, NY) scored 14 of his
17 points during that stretch, including four 3-pointers.
Purchase built a seemingly insurmountable 26-point lead, 60-34, with 16:31 left, but Old
Westbury managed to claw its way back into the game, twice closing to within four points.
A 3-pointer by Hakiem George pulled Old Westbury to within 71-67 with 4:34 left.
Purchase did not make a field goal the rest of the way, but went 21-for-26 at the free throw line
in the final 4:21 to seal the win.
For the game, the Panthers went 30-for-43 at the line.
George finished with 21 points, leading Old Westbury. Patrick Bonna added 15 points.
Center Charles Thompson (JR/Upper Marlboro, MD) recorded game-highs of 21 points and
13 rebounds to lead Purchase to a 66-59 victory over second-seeded St. Joseph's College in
the semifinals of the Skyline Conference men's basketball tournament on Friday night at the
Danzi Athletic Center.
In the semifinals, a close first half featured five lead changes. St. Joseph's took a two-point lead
into the locker room, 25-23, on a 3-pointer by Mike Crisci in the closing seconds of the half.
The Golden Eagles led 29-28 following a pair of free throws by Sean Hyde with 16:49 left in the
Purchase responded with a 12-0 run over the next five minutes, grabbing a 40-29 lead with
11:43 remaining. Thompson scored the last 10 points in the decisive run.
St. Joseph's managed to claw back to within two points, 57-55, on a basket by Hyde with 1:55
remaining. But Purchase managed to hang on by going 7-for-8 from the free throw line down the
Billups (18 points, 12 rebounds) and Orgias (11 points, 10 rebounds) joined Thompson with
double-doubles for Purchase, which held a 49-38 rebounding advantage.
The Panthers will now play St. Mary’s of Maryland Friday in Maryland in the first round of the
-Bobby Ciafardini, SID
-Skyline Conference Sports Information contributed to this report