CORTLAND — Despite a 68-55 loss at unbeaten Cortland on Saturday, Plattsburgh men’s basketball coach Tom Curle viewed the weekend as a positive one.
“To go 1-1 on the road (in SUNY Athletic Conference play), it’s a good weekend for us,” Curle said. “It would have been a great weekend if we went 2-0.
“We played against two teams who are going to be right there. So it was a pretty successful weekend for us.”
The Cardinals (4-2, 1-1 SUNYAC), trying to follow up on Friday night’s 59-57 victory at Oswego, couldn’t get it going offensively against the Red Dragons (5-0, 2-0).
The Cardinals had a tough day shooting the basketball, going 32.8 percent (21-of-64) from the field, 20 percent (5-of-25) from 3-point range and 50 percent (8-of-16) from the foul line.
“We had some good looks but didn’t make the shots,” Curle said. “We played hard but weren’t able to bounce back from our game the night before. We didn’t have our legs under the shots.
“The players gave it everything they had. Cortland is just a good, solid team — and they know what they want to do. They hit some tough shots. I was pleased with our effort.”
Harrison Hefele and Kevin McMahon led the Red Dragons with 15 points apiece, while Jeremy Smith added 13. McMahon grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds.
Shamoy McIntosh paced the Cardinals with 17 points, and Gary Tibbs added 10 on five-for-six shooting. Guard Chris Manning added a team-high nine rebounds and five assists.
The Red Dragons took a 36-26 halftime lead over the cold-shooting Cardinals.
“They really hurt us with the pick-and-roll in the first half before we made some adjustments at the half,” said Curle. “We got it down to three points early in the second half, but they went back up by nine right away. They had an answer every time we made a run.”
Curle said Saturday’s game was part of a lesson.
“The players need to understand that they have to get their focus the second day of a back-to-back weekend on the road. They have to get rested in the hotel.
“It’s going to be a process for us, and we should get better with each lesson. Hopefully, we will be able to bounce back.”
The Cardinals are back on the court on Tuesday night with a tough nonconference game at Keene State.
“We have one day to practice before we play again,” Curle said. “We play a tough schedule. We’re hoping that it will help us in the long run.”
The Cardinals return home to close out the first semester with conference games next weekend against Fredonia and Buffalo State.
Cortland 68, Plattsburgh 55
C. Manning 2-2-6, McIntosh 5-5-17, Perez 3-0-7, Tibbs 5-0-10, Hodgson 0-0-0, O’Shea 1-1-3, Mitchell 1-0-3, Ottey 0-0-0, Williams 2-0-4, Fields 0-0-0, Moody 1-0-2, Baker, 0-0-0, Correa 0-0-0, Parker 1-0-3, Outlaw 0-0-0, Siergiej 0-0-0. Totals: 21-8-55.
Smith 4-3-13, Winter 2-4-9, Hefele 6-1-15, Sternkopf 0-1-1, McMahon 7-1-15, Connolly 0-0-0, Herron 3-2-8, B. Manning 2-1-7, Spendjian 0-0-0, McGowan 0-0-0. Totals: 24-13-68.
3-point goals: Plattsburgh (5): McIntosh 2; Perez; Mitchell; Parker. Cortland (7): Smith 2; Hefele 2; B. Manning 2; Winter.
Halftime: Cortland 36-26.