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College Sports: Cornell’s Tasker earns All-Ivy League First Team; Borgese helps Rutgers to bowl game

Luke Tasker enjoyed a huge senior year for Cornell, earning All-Ivy League honors at season’s end. (Photo courtesy of Cornell University).
Luke Tasker, a 2009 graduate of St. Francis High school, was a unanimous first team All-Ivy League pick for Cornell University.

The three-year starter enjoyed a record-breaking senior season, hauling in 75 passes for a school single-season record 1,207 yards and eight touchdowns. His yardage mark ranked sixth in Ivy history and he ranked among the national leaders in receptions per game (ninth, 7.5), receiving yards per game (fourth, 120.7) and all-purpose yardage per game (34th, 127.2).

Tasker’s totals led the Ancient Eight in both receptions and receiving yards per game. Tasker had a reception in each of his final 30 games, ending his career with 2,482 receiving yards to rank second on Cornell’s career list and 13th best all-time in Ivy history.

Tasker had a pair of 200-yard games as a senior, including 10 catches for 201 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Princeton. He was even better against Monmouth, setting a Cornell single-game record with 280 receiving yards on 11 catches with one touchdown.

The receiving yardage total was the third-best in a game in Ivy history. His 289 all-purpose yards in that game ranks third in a single game in school history and earned him Ivy League Offensive co-Player of the Week. Cornell finished the season 4-6 overall and 2-5 in the Ivy League.

Tasker was an honorable mention All-Ivy pick in 2011 after finishing his junior season ranked 22nd nationally in receptions per game (5.8) and 23rd in receiving yards per game (83.2) for a total of 832, numbers that ranked second and third in the Ivy League, respectively. He caught four touchdowns on the season and ran for a fifth, posting three 100-yard receiving games along the way.

Tasker hauled in 12 catches against Columbia, a total that tied for third all-time at Cornell in receptions in a game. He served as special teams captain and was the team’s primary punt returner and holder on placements.

In his first season as a starter at wide receiver in 2010, Tasker caught 39 passes for 448 yards and a touchdown and also ran for touchdowns on his only two rushing attempts. He tied for first on the team with three TDs and caught at least one pass in all 10 starts. Tasker was the team’s primary punt returner, averaging 7.4 yards per return, and finished ninth in the Ivy League in receptions, a mark that ranked in the top 100 nationally.

Borgese becomes primary place kicker at Rutgers

Red-shirt freshman Nick Borgese of Hamburg stepped into the starting place kicker job at Rutgers this year and helped the Scarlet Knights finish off one of the program’s best seasons, which will end with a bowl game later this month.

Borgese, a 2011 graduate of St. Francis, where he was an All-Catholic kicker and punter, made 4 of 5 field goals and 16 of 17 extra points as Rutgers earned a three-way share of the 2012 Big East title. The Scarlet Knights also officially accepted a bid to play Virginia Tech in the 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl on Friday, Dec. 28 at 5:30 p.m. from the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

His long was 42 yards and he nailed both of his attempts from 40-plus. He stepped into the starting role seven games ago when Kyle Federico suffered a hip injury.

Rutgers, which finished 9-3 overall and 5-2 in the conference, is making its eighth bowl appearance in school history. The Scarlet Knights are 5-2 all-time in bowl games and will be playing in their seventh bowl in the last eight years. Also, Rutgers’ 5-2 record in Big East play tied the school record for single-season conference victories. They finished tied with Louisville and Syracuse.

ECC hockey's Mueller honored

Eric Mueller of Hamburg, a sophomore forward on the Erie Community College hockey team, was named the Region III Male co-Athlete of the Week Tuesday by the league on Dec. 4. Mueller, a Canisius High School graduate, recorded 14 points (six goals and eight assists) as the Kats went 2-1 on the week. He leads Region III with 24 points, including 11 goals. ECC, which is 6-3 overall, will play Hudson Valley CC Friday and Saturday (Dec. 7-8) in Region III action in Troy. The Kats return home the next day at noon against the Canisius College ACHA (club team) at the Cheektowaga Rec Center.

Hawks men's hoops off to hot start

The Hilbert College men’s basketball team extended their five-game unbeaten streak and improved to 2-0 in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference with a 87-51 victory over Franciscan University on Dec. 1. The Barons were held to the fewest points allowed this season by the Hawks, as they improved to 6-1 overall and continue the best start in the program’s history as a Division III member.

Anthony Hodge led the Hawks with 15 points, to go along with four steals and three assists. Jerame Owens earned his first double-double of his career, netting 14 points with 11 rebounds. Dan McFarland chipped in seven points, nine rebounds and three assists. The Hawks matched their season average of 12 steals for the game and secured a season high five blocks.

In capturing their first Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference victory of the season, beating D’Youville College 94-55 on Nov. 28, McFarland finished with 19 and a team-high 10 rebounds. Also for Hilbert, Owens grabbed 11 rebounds, while Ryan Bradt was 3 for 3 from the floor.

Warren helps Fredonia to first SUNYAC win

The Fredonia State women’s basketball team gained its first SUNYAC victory of the season, 57-47 over visiting Oneonta on Saturday (Dec. 1). Jaimie Warren of Lake View contributed to the win with eight points and 11 rebounds. The Devils improve to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in the SUNYAC. In falling 67-56 to New Paltz the day prior in Fredonia’s SUNYAC season opener, Warren, a Frontier High School graduate, notched eight points and 12 rebounds.

Hilbert falls in pair of AMCC games

After a rally fell short, the Hilbert College women’s basketball team suffered its second straight Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference loss in a week. Franciscan University earned a 53-43 win on Dec. 1 despite the effort of Jessica Jamison, who finished with 14 points and grabbed four offensive rebounds as Hilbert fell to 2-4 overall and 0-2 in the AMCC. Point guard Sarah Lorusso of Hamburg, who notched a game-high five assists, and Jamison each ended with six rebounds apiece. Natalie Whitman chipped in 10 points and three assists.

In the AMCC opener for both teams, D’Youville earned a 73-53 win at Hilbert College on Nov. 28. Whitman produced 14 points for the Hawks who, as a team, finished the game with 22 offensive rebounds. Senior Amber Grosch finished with seven of those offensive boards. D’Youville freshman Alexis Smith of Hamburg recorded six points and four rebounds in the win. She was also one of three double-digit scorers on Dec. 1, but D’Youville fell to LaRoche 83-53. The Hamburg High School graduate scored 14 points in the loss.

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