October 21, 2021

Cortaca Classic: Cooper sparks revived Dragons

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer SUNY Cortland guard Justin Cooper (34) gets free of St. Joseph’s Fernando Vazquez (33) in the second half Saturday.

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

SUNY Cortland guard Justin Cooper (34) gets free of St. Joseph’s Fernando Vazquez (33) in the second half Saturday.

With guard Justin Cooper scoring a career-high 30 points, the SUNY Cortland men’s basketball team recovered nicely as Saturday hosts of the Cortaca Classic.

Cooper had his second consecutive double-double as the Red Dragons knocked off Long Island’s St Joseph’s College 93-84, a 50-point opening half contributing to this Corey Gymnasium success.
Cooper shot 8-for-13 from the floor and swished all 12 of his free throws, the sophomore now a perfect 20-for-20 from the free throw line two games into the season. He also pulled down 11 rebounds and handed out five assists in the Cortland victory.

The Red Dragons (1-1) had four starters finish in double figures while bouncing back from a 94-85 loss to Puchase College the previous evening, as Ithaca College hosted the opening night of this four-team gathering. Micheal Kelly tossed in 17 points including 5-for-5 foul line perfection, center Carrel Joseph had 16 points and seven rebounds and James Morales finished with 14 points and had a career-high seven assists.

Fernando Vazquez topped St Joseph’s (0-3) with 35 points.

Ithaca finished 2-0 at the tournament, beating Purchase 95-93 in Saturday’s opening game behind tournament MVP Marc Chasin’s 39 points — including the winning layup with 2.3 seconds left.
Ithaca’s Peter Ezema and Purchase’s Brian Berrios joined Cooper and St. Joseph’s Vazquez on the all-tournament team.

For the Golden Eagles, Isaiah Moore and CJ Capilets each scored 15 points, Capilet made 5-of-7 shots from the 3-point arc, including all five of his second-half attempts to help keep St. Joseph’s within striking distance. He made four straight treys in a two-minute span to cut a 15-point deficit to seven at 71-64 with 10:19 left, but the guests got no closer the rest of the way.

Cortland will travel to CCNY in Manhattan on Tuesday, a 6 p.m. start.

CORTLAND WOMEN ROLL: After struggling to score in Friday’s home court loss to William Smith to get the Cortaca Classic underway, Cortland rediscovered its shooting touch at Ben Light Gymnasium in Ithaca Saturday.

Cassidy Chapko had 26 points and Kristy Vitucci 22 — both scareer highs — as the Red Dragons rolled past St. Lawrence 86-58

Ithaca finished 2-0 over the two-days of play, beating William Smith 84-73 to conclude the tournament Saturday afternoon.

Chapko made 9-of-12 shots, including 6-of-7 from the 3-point arc. Vitucci was also 9-of-12 overall from the floor, and hit 4-of-5 treys, and grabbed four rebounds.

Center Alyssa Crosby chipped in with 10 points and five rebounds for the Red Dragons (1-1). Danielle Levine also grabbed five boards, while Taylor Miller and Samantha Roberts shared the team lead with five assists each.

In addition, Becca Krenzer cored seven points on 3-of-3 shooting and Alaina Lynch netted seven points on 3-of-4 shooting off Coach Jeannette Mosher’s bench.

St. Lawrence (0-2) was paced by Meghan Hynes’ 18 points and Cara Waterson’s 10 points.

Cortland shot 53 percent from the field overall and 46 percent (11-of-24) from the arc.

Cortland led 28-20 after the first quarter and 40-28 with four minutes left in the half. The Red Dragons then finished the half on an 11-2 run, including eight points by Vitucci, and took a 51-30 lead into the locker room.

Vitucci scored 18 points and Chapko had 16 points in the opening 20 minutes.

Cortland will be off for 10 days before hosting Ithaca on Tuesday, Nov, 29, at 7:30 p.m. in a non-league game.