GENESEO — For a while Friday night, the Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team looked like it was still on the bus.
Host Geneseo built up a 34-16 first-half lead before settling for a 37-26 advantage at the half.
The Cardinals, however, showed some competitive spirit in the second half and took a couple of runs at the Knights before dropping a tough 66-64 decision in SUNY Athletic Conference play.
“I’d like to think that we’re out of our doldrums,” said Plattsburgh coach Tom Curle. “It took two and a half games for that to happen.”
Connor Fedge led Geneseo (8-4, 4-1) with 15 points, while Ryan Riefenhauser and Jordan Jones followed with 13 each.
Chris Manning, despite being in foul trouble, paced the Cardinals (7-5, 3-2) with 13 points. Shamoy McIntosh was next with 12 points and John Perez added 10.
It was a difficult first 20 minutes for the Cardinals.
“The last play of the first half, we didn’t score,” said Curle. “But we ran the play to perfection and I think the effort and concentration carried over into the second half.
“We showed more composure in the second half. The first half, the effort wasn’t there rebounding and we missed some wide-open shots. If we hit those shots, I would like to think it would have been a different first half.”
Plattsburgh got to within 44-39 with 14:08 left and 55-52 with 5:00 remaining.
The Knights, however, went back up by 10 points before the Cardinals made one last run.
McIntosh’s layup pulled Plattsburgh to within 66-61 with 25 ticks left and Geneseo missed the front end of a one-on-one from the line.
The Cardinals rushed the ball down court and McIntosh nailed a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game, but with just five seconds remaining.
Plattsburgh then fouled with three seconds left and Geneseo again missed the front end of a one-and-one.
The Cardinals, however, had to take a long desperation shot from past halfcourt as time expired.
“I’m kind of glad that we went through this,” said Curle. “The players have to realize that to become a good team, they have to do more than step off the bus.
“Hopefully, we will be ready to play from now on and finish the semester the right way.”
Plattsburgh, after three losses, will look to win its first game of the second semester when it plays at The College of Brockport today at 4 p.m. The Golden Eagles were a 73-61 winner over Potsdam on Friday night.
“From what I heard, it was a close game for most of the way,” said Curle. “This is going to be a big game for us. There’s a lot of teams tied for second place in the conference right now, and we’re one of them.”
Geneseo 66, Plattsburgh 64
Manning 6-1-13, McIntosh 5-0-12, Perez 4-2-10, Williams 3-1-7, Correa 2-0-6, Parker 2-0-5, Fields 0-4-4, Mitchell 1-0-3, Baker 1-0-2, Hodgson 1-0-2, Moody 0-0-0, Tibbs 0-0-0. Totals: 25-8-64.
Fedge 7-1-15, Reifenhauser 6-1-13, Jones 5-2-13, Drescher 3-0-8, Lyons 3-0-6, Curry 1-0-3, McKenna 1-0-3, Decker 1-0-3, Hoy 0-2-2, Anderson 0-0-0. Totals: 27-6-66.
Halftime: Geneseo, 37-26.
3-point goals: Plattsburgh (6): Correa 2; McIntosh 2; Mitchell; Parker. Geneseo (6): Drescher 2; Decker; McKenna; Curry; Jones.