Cortland men lose heartbreaker

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

SUNY Cortland’s James Morales (30) eyes the basket against Plattsburgh’s Brandon Johnson during the first half of Friday’s game. Plattsburgh won, 80-78.

Eli Bryant hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with less than 50 seconds remaining and Plattsburgh defeated host Cortland 80-78 Friday night in a battle of two of the top teams in the SUNYAC men’s basketball standings.

Plattsburgh (8-4, 6-1 SUNYAC) and Cortland (11-3, 6-1 SUNYAC) are tied with Brockport for first place in the league standings. Cortland was to host Potsdam today at 3 p.m., while Plattsburgh was slated to play at Oswego today, also at 3 p.m.

Jonathan Patron led five Plattsburgh double-figure scorers with 20 points and also added 10 rebounds. Bryant finished with 19 points and eight boards, and Nick DeAngelis added 14 points, including four 3-pointers. Chris Middleton tallied 11 points and dished out four assists, and Eric Mack totaled 10 points and five rebounds. Ian Howard led the Cardinals with 11 rebounds.

Justin Cooper was Cortland’s top scorer with 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field, and he also led the squad with seven rebounds. James Morales finished with 25 points and Zach Lydon chipped with with 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

Cortland trailed by 10 points midway through the first half but rallied to tie the game at halftime, 37-37. The backand- forth second half featured seven ties and 18 lead changes, including six lead shifts in the final three minutes.

Cortland took a 74-73 lead on two Morales free throws with 2:34 left, but Plattsburgh answered with a Patron jumper at the 2:10 mark to regain the lead. Cooper got fouled after an offensive rebound with 1:45 left, and his two free throws put the Red Dragons ahead 76-75.

Plattsburgh responded with an alleyoop dunk by Mack off a feed from Bryant with 1:33 remaining, but Morales hit a jumper with 1:14 left and Cortland led 78-77.

Bryant’s 3-pointer with 49.7 seconds left ended up being the final points scored by either team. Howard blocked a Cortland layup attempt with 37 seconds left to preserve Plattsburgh’s twopoint lead, and Cortland elected to play defense instead of foul on the Cardinals’ next possession.

Plattsburgh missed a 3-pointer with five seconds left. Cortland grabbed the rebound and got the ball to Cooper, who launched a shot from beyond halfcourt that hit off the right side of the rim as the buzzer sounded.

Plattsburgh shot 42 percent from the field and 31 percent (9-of-29) from 3-point range, while Cortland finished at 46 percent overall and just 23 percent (5-of-22) from the arc. Plattsburgh grabbed 19 offensive rebounds and finished with a 19-7 edge in secondchance points.


Cortland 65, Plattsburgh 54: Senior Kerry McHugh scored 12 of her game high 21 points in the final quarter as Cortland held off visiting Plattsburgh in a SUNYAC contest.

With the win, Cortland remains in second place in the SUNYAC standings with a 6-1 record (7-5 overall). Plattsburgh dropped to 4-9 overall and 3-4 in the league with the loss.

McHugh made four 3-pointers and also finished with four assists and a career-high seven rebounds. Kristy Vitucci scored eight points, Shana Crespo totaled seven points, eight rebounds and three assists, and Justine Crespo led the team with nine rebounds and dished out a career-best four assists. Joka Oyefeso finished with six points, four blocks, and a career-high seven rebounds.

Bella DePasquale paced Plattsburgh with 19 points, including five 3-pointers. Taylor Durnin tallied 11 points, Taylor Clare finished with nine points and 11 rebounds, and Christina Testa and Frannie Merkel each handed out three assists.

Cortland led 14-11 after one quarter and 32-24 at halftime. The Red Dragons shot only 28 percent from the floor in the half, but held Plattsburgh to 21 percent shooting over that stretch. Cortland led by 14 points at 44-30 on an Oyefeso jumper with 3:01 left in the third, but Plattsburgh scored the final 10 points of the quarter, including two DePasquale 3-pointers, and was within 44-40 entering the final period.

McHugh, however, scored the first seven points of the fourth on two layups off feeds from Taylor Miller, sandwiched around a 3-pointer, and Cortland led 51-40 with 7:47 remaining. The Cardinals eventually got back to within six at 60-54 on a Testa 3-pointer with 2:09 left, but McHugh eventually sank a free throw with 37 seconds left, followed by two J. Crespo free throws four seconds later. McHugh finished the scoring with two more free throws at the 17-second mark.

Cortland shot 44 percent in the second half and finished at 35 percent, while Plattsburgh ended at 26 percent for the game.

Cortland was to host Potsdam today at 1 p.m.

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