Press-Republican

Sports

March 2, 2013

Cardinal cagers return to NCAA play

PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team will be looking to take advantage of its good fortune tonight at Memorial Hall.

The Cardinals, not overly surprised to be in the NCAA Division III Tournament but more surprised to be at home in the opening round, host Husson University at 7 p.m.

The Cardinals (19-8) last appeared in the NCAA Tournament during the 2009-10 season where they dropped a 71-65 home decision to SUNYIT in the opening round.

“We’re 11-1 at home with our only loss to Middlebury and we’re 7-6 on the road,” said Plattsburgh coach Tom Curle. “Any time the players came be at home and be where they are comfortable, it’s a big part of it for a young team.

“But everything from now on is a new experience for us. I really don’t now what to expect. We’ll do some things early on to try and get the players out of the box early and to become more comfortable.”

This year, Plattsburgh has won 12 of its last 15 games to earn an at-large bid to the tournament. The second-seeded Cardinals were beaten at top-seeded Cortland, 75-61, in the SUNY Athletic Conference Tournament championship game.

“Everyone is 0-0 now and it really doesn’t matter what you’ve done before this,” said Curle.

Shamoy McIntosh is the leading scorer for the Cardinals, averaging 12.2 points a game, while the injured John Perez is the top rebounder with 7.3 boards a contest.

Balanced scoring and a deep bench have been key to Plattsburgh’s success this season, as a number of players have stepped up at different times.

Point guard Chris Manning has team highs of 6.0 assists and 3.85 steals a game. Manning leads all of Division III in steals.

Reggie Williams, who has helped fill the void left by the Perez leg injury, has recorded 32 blocks to lead Plattsburgh in that category.

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