Brandy Thurston

MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – announced its 2012-13 All-Region teams Wednesday afternoon, naming Morrisville State College men’s basketball head coach Joseph Smith, the East Region Coach of the Year.

Smith13Smith guided the team to back-to-back North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Championship regular season and tournament titles, and two straight appearances in the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.

The 2011-12 NCAA bid was the first ever in the history of Morrisville State College.

To-date on the season, the Mustangs have posted a 23-5 overall record under Smith’s direction, and continue their historical run in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the “Sweet 16” this Saturday against St. Mary’s College (Maryland), ranked #11 by Along the way, Morrisville State has upended two nationally ranked teams, #15 Ramapo and #13 Rhode Island.

In four seasons at the helm of the program, Smith has posted a 61-44 overall record, including a 42-13 record the past two seasons, along with a 2-1 NCAA tournament record.

The Sherrill, N.Y. native was the 2011-12 NEAC Coach of the Year.

A 2004 graduate of Hamilton College where he was instrumental in leading the team to several post-season tournament appearances, including the ECAC Tournament in 2001, the UCAA semi-finals in 2002, the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 round in 2003 and the NCAA Tournament in 2004.

As a senior, Smith averaged 21.0 points per game and 10.8 rebounds per game, starting all 27 games for Hamilton, and was named the Liberty League Player of the Year and Division III New York State Player of the Year in 2004, while garnering All-American honors.

During his time at Hamilton, the team went 66-31 overall. Smith holds the third spot in the Continentals record book for career blocks with 120, and is 14th in career scoring with 1,333 points.

Following graduation from Hamilton, Smith played professionally for the BK Amager in Copenhagen, Denmark until 2009, where the team appeared in the playoff’s four times, including a 2007 run to the semi-final round.

While with the BK Amager, Smith was a four-time Danish League All-Star and also assisted in all aspects of coaching during his time in Denmark.




PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Morrisville State College Mustangs fought back from a late second period deficit, forced an extra frame, and topped host Rhode Island College with a thrilling 66-61 overtime victory to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament.

IMG_6801Morrisville State, for the second straight week, posts the upset to improve to 23-5 overall, and ends the Anchorman’s season (nationally ranked #13 by at 26-4.

Three tallied double figures for the Mustangs, led by junior forward Mickey Davis (Syracuse, N.Y.) with 17 points and nine rebounds on the night. Junior guard Brandon Hanks (Syracuse, N.Y.) posted the double-double, netting 12 points and leading the boards with 11 rebounds. Hanks also dished out six assists and collected four steals.

Junior guard Jordan Prior (Cortland, N.Y.) came off the bench to tally 14, including two crucial three’s in the final minute to force the overtime period.

Tom DeCiantis led the Rhode Island efforts, posting 13 points, while teammates Nyheem Sanders added 12 and Chris Burton 11. Tahrike Carter added 10 and collected 11 off the glass.

Morrisville State jumped out to an early 7-0 lead before the slow starting Anchorman got on the board nearly five minutes in and added five additional points to get back in the game.

Leading 17-11, Morrisville State went silent offensively, while Rhode Island capitalized on a couple turnovers to take their first lead of the contest, 18-17, with 4:02 to go in the opening period.

Davis sank one from long range to put the Mustangs back in front, and Jailaan Kinsey (Syracuse, N.Y.) added two from the free throw line in the final second of the period to send Morrisville State into the break with the 23-20 advantage.

A back and forth second half found the Mustangs trailing by five after a one-handed dunk by Rhode Island gave the Anchormen the 48-43 lead, but Kucjok Ater (Syracuse, N.Y.) converted two from the charity stripe to cut it to three with minutes to go on the clock.

With 1:03 remaining in regulation, DeCiantis sank a three for Rhode Island that increased the margin to six, but Prior countered with one of his own from the right wing to make it a three point game.

IMG_7153In dramatic fashion the Mustangs were fouled on a 3-point field goal attempt and sent to the line for three, but Morrisville State, who struggled from the free throw line all night, missed all three shots awarded, but regained possession as the ball went off the knee of a Rhode Island forward.

Off the inbounds, Kinsey hit Prior on the baseline who drained the game-tying long ball with 19 ticks left from the corner.

On the ensuing possession, Hanks attempted to loft one as time expired, but Burton rejected the shot to send the game into the overtime period.

In overtime, DeCiantis hit a three to give the hosts the two point advantage with 1:18 remaining on the clock, but Prior responded with a layup on the opposite end to tie the contest for the fifth time in the extra period.

With just under a minute to go, Burton drew a Davis foul and made the trip to the line for two, but missed both as Ater snagged the defensive board to regain possession for the Mustangs.

Prior was fouled on the ensuing possession for Morrisville State, and drained both of his shots to put the Mustangs up 60-58 with 45 seconds left on the clock.  Hanks then forced an Anchorman turnover on the next possession, and fed Prior for the 2-on-1 fast break, giving Morrisville State the four point advantage.

Burton converted a three-point play with 22.9 seconds left to make it a one point game, but a foul sent Kinsey to the line where he sank both for the 64-61 Mustang lead.

RIC found DeCiantis open on the wing, but his attempt hit the back of the rim and was collected by Prior who was sent to the line with 1.9 ticks left, and he put down both to secure the win for the Mustangs.

Morrisville State shot 38 percent from the floor on the night, hitting 23-of-61 shots, and drained 8-of-16 from long range while the Anchormen converted 34.3 percent from the field (23-for-67) and just 5-of-24 from long range (20.8%).

The Mustangs won the battle on the boards, collecting 50 to RIC’s 41, leading to 21 second chance points.

Morrisville State advances to face St. Mary’s College in Maryland next Saturday. Game details will be released as they become available.


Morrisville State College men’s basketball made history Saturday night, stunning the 15th ranked team in the nation by, Ramapo, with an 86-78 opening round victory in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

IMG_6801The Mustangs advance to the second round of the championship tourney to face Rhode Island College, who topped Hobart in extra time by a 62-59 margin. The Anchormen are ranked #13 nationally by with a 26-3 overall record.

Morrisville State and Rhode Island meet for the first time in the history of the two programs on Saturday, and this could prove to be one of the most challenging match-ups for the Mustangs as the Anchormen are a strong defensive squad.

Rhode Island ranks second overall in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 55.8 points per game, and top the field in defending the long range shot (.270 percent shooting by opponents). The Mustangs, who boast on average 78.8 points per game, and hit 7.6 from downtown, will certainly feel the pressure from the defensive oriented squad.

Morrisville State head coach Joseph Smith believes that the team is balanced beyond scoring from just long range. “Our ability to shoot the three and score in the 70’s and 80’s will certainly be tested. However, our strength is in our team’s ability to adapt to the challenge of an opponent’s defense and score in whatever way possible.”

The Mustangs, who were matched pretty even with Ramapo, will face a Rhode Island team that again mimics their style play. The Anchormen like to run and can score in several different ways, having three that average double figures, and depth that extends to four or five deep on the bench.

Not that it’s that much different with Morrisville State, who according to Coach Smith, “has the opportunity to play a group of players who have the ability to matchup best with each opponent.”

IMG_7153Described offensively as “dynamic” and “dangerous”, Morrisville State has five that average double figures and a bench, that in the opening round, proved to be the difference maker, outscoring their opponent 36-2.

As with any team in the tournament making shots, hitting the boards and maintaining composure are part of the game plan; but for the Mustangs, an addition will be taking care of the ball, as evident by the Anchormen’s defense that forced 26 Hobart turnovers in the opening round.

Despite the test of playing on Rhode Island’s home court, Smith feels that the team is focused and ready for the challenge. “Each step in this run will present new and tougher challenges. Our guys are excited and ready for the opportunity to advance to the ‘Sweet 16’.”

The contest is being played at the Murray Center on the Rhode Island College campus in Providence. Tickets are on sale at the Rhode Island Athletic Department and at the door, and cost $6 for adults, and $3 for students with valid ID and senior citizens.

For those unable to make the trip, live stats and video will be available for the contest. Links will be posted on the Morrisville State athletics web site at, as well as in-game updates provided through the athletics facebook page at


NYACK, N.Y. – The Morrisville State College men’s basketball team made history Saturday night, stunning Ramapo College with an 86-78 victory in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament, the first ever post-season win in the NCAA Tournament for the college.

Morrisville State (22-5) advances to face Rhode Island College, who topped Hobart in extra time. Ramapo, ranked #15 nationally by, ends the season with a 23-5 record.

IMG_6801Four tallied double figures for the Mustangs as nine contributed to the win, including junior forward Mickey Davis (Syracuse, N.Y.) who led the charge with 19 points and six rebounds. Four of Davis’ shots were from long range.

Kucjok Ater (Syracuse, N.Y.) came off the bench to add 16, snagging eight rebounds, while teammate Rhamel Williams (Bronx, N.Y.) chipped in 14 on perfect shooting from the floor.

Brandon Henry (Harlem, N.Y.) tallied 12 to round out the scoring leader board.

Brandon Hanks (Syracuse, N.Y.) tallied nine points and led the way with nine rebounds, adding a team best seven assists and five steals.

Elgin Brown and Stephon Treadwell each tallied 24 for Ramapo, while Will Sanborn was held to 13. Treadwell collected a team best 11 rebounds.

A back and forth battle through the opening six minutes of the contest, Ramapo went on a 6-0 run to claim a six point lead with 12:51 to go in the first.

After Ater hit a free throw to cut it to five, Henry nailed one from the left corner and added a fast break layup seconds later, to tie the contest for the fourth time in the opening stanza.

With 8:05 showing on the clock in the first, Ater threw down a dunk that ignited a 15-7 Morrisville State run that put the Mustangs ahead by eight with 2:35 to go, a lead that wouldn’t be relinquished for the remainder of the contest, before closing out the half with another as time expired for the 47-38 halftime advantage.

In the second, the Mustangs increased the lead to as many as 21, before Ramapo gradually brought the gap to within striking distance, closing it to single digits with 1:22 remaining in regulation.

Ramapo was able to sneak within six with 26 ticks remaining, but Davis and Hanks converted key free throws down the stretch to secure the win.

The evenly matched contest found the Mustangs winning the critical battle on the boards, 39-31, and shooting battle as they hit 32-of-60 from the floor (53.3%), including 6-of-19 from long range.

The key difference was the contribution off the bench, as Morrisville State outscored Ramapo 36-2.

Information on next week’s second round game will be released as it becomes available.