PLATTSBURGH — The defensive intensity that was there throughout the game the night before for the Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team was there only in spurts Saturday at Memorial Hall.
Still, the Cardinals (15-3, 9-2) completed a SUNY Athletic Conference weekend sweep with a 90-78 win over New Paltz.
Maybe the Plattsburgh players took the Hawks (6-13, 3-9), who lost at Potsdam on Friday night for the Bears’ first conference win, a little too lightly.
And maybe the Cardinals were feeling a little too good about themselves after going on an 18-5 run to open the second half to take a 64-43 lead.
Whatever reason, New Paltz then embarked on a 15-0 run to cut the deficit to 64-58 and got as close as 71-67 before the Cardinals were able to widen their advantage in the final minutes.
“A positive is that we were able to get the big buckets or defensive stops when we needed to,” Plattsburgh coach Tom Curle said.
“It’s psychological and I don’t know why. But when we think we’re going to blow out a team, we stop performing. It’s mental and we look too much at the scoreboard rather than taking one possession at a time.
“It can come back to bite you.”
Shamoy McIntosh led the Cardinals with 23 points, including 20 in the second half.
Shavar Fields added a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds, with 16 of the points and nine of the rebounds in the first half.
Ezra Hodgson and Edward Correa finished with 11 points each. Chris Manning chipped in with six points, seven rebounds, four assists and seven steals.
Taylor Sowah’s 24 points led the Hawks. Keegan Donovan added 17 points and Kevin Roach, 12.
“New Paltz never quit,” Curle said. “But, we have to establish an identity where we don’t back off after getting a big lead.
“Offensively, we went to isolation and did some stuff well. But we need to play with the same type of urgency, like we did the night before (against Oneonta), for 40 minutes.”