PLATTSBURGH — A large lead early for Plattsburgh State turned into a tight, back-and-forth battle at Memorial Hall Saturday night as the Cardinals were able to pull out an 82-72 victory over Oswego in overtime.
“I think we were kind of like the Matrix,” Plattsburgh head coach Tom Curle said. “We dodged a bullet. Once we dodged that bullet, I think we relaxed and said, ‘OK, we very easily could’ve lost this game, but now we have a second life, we’re the better team and now we can play more comfortably.’”
The defensive focus all night for the Cardinals (18-4, 12-3) was trying to stop Daniel Ross, something that proved to be a tough task for Curle’s squad. Ross paced the Lakers (14-9, 8-8) with a game-high 28 points, shooting 9-16 from the field and barely missing a basket as time expired in regulation that would’ve sent his team home victorious.
A defensive shift down the stretch from Curle, however, enabled the Cardinals to finally contain Ross.
“We were having trouble stopping them, and the other factor was that we took Chris Manning off the ball and put him on No. 1 (Ross),” Curle said. “We maintained that through the timeout, and he did a real good job. We finally were able to contain him because Chris Manning kept him in front, really pressured him, made him get the ball up and then made him work real hard to get it back.”
Curle continued to put Manning on Ross in the overtime period, and the Cardinals got the results they were looking for.
While Oswego grabbed a quick 72-70 lead to begin the extra frame, Plattsburgh went on a 12-0 run to close out the contest as Manning held Ross scoreless in overtime. Shavar Fields finished off the scoring for Plattsburgh, receiving a long, lob pass down-court and slamming it in to emphatically seal the victory for the Cardinals.