PLATTSBURGH — Speed won out over height Friday night — along with some deadly shooting by Ezra Hodgson.
Hodgson poured in a game-high 27 points, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range as Plattsburgh State ran away from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 76-53, in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament at Memorial Hall.
The host Cardinals (23-5) will tangle with Eastern Connecticut State in tonight’s 7 p.m. second-round contest. The Warriors were an 81-75 winner over Husson University in the first game of the evening.
“They (MIT) are big and that was a real concern for me earlier in the week,” Plattsburgh coach Tom Curle said. “But then I thought we would be able to take advantage of some things. We wanted ball reversal and we were able to get to the open spot.
“I think our quickness was able to wear them down.”
Hodgson scored 12 points in the first half and added 15 more after intermission. His timely shooting never let the Engineers (20-9) back into the game.
“My teammates gave me some great passes,” Hodgson said. “And we were able to get some steals.”
MIT turned the ball over 17 times in the contest, as opposed to only five times for the Cardinals.
“Seventy-six points is a lot to score off that team,” Curle said. “It was a question of who would step up for us. We had two players — Ed Correa and John Perez — who didn’t have strong games (Friday).
“But we ran our offense the same all night. They weren’t quick enough to stop our ball reversal and it was more their inability to stop us. We still have more in our arsenal.”
Shamoy McIntosh, making his return to the lineup after sitting out the SUNY Athletic Conference Tournament with an injury, added 15 points.
“Our defense sparked us,” McIntosh said. “We knew we could score, especially on the fast break.”