GALLOWAY, N.J. — At the beginning, the Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team started out too cold. Near the conclusion of its season-opening contest, Bridgewater State got hot from the field and closed the gap by a considerable margin.
The middle of the game, though, was just right as the Cardinals held on for a 78-70 victory in the second game of the Richard Stockton Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday night at the Sports Center on the campus of Richard Stockton College.
Although Plattsburgh State (1-0) shot 48.4 percent from the field in triumph, it was forced to work through an exceptionally sluggish offensive stretch in the opening stages of the tilt. In its first game-related basketball activity since March 1, the Cardinals struggled mightily to put points on the board, missing their first 15 field goal attempts of the non-conference bout.
“We came out with a lot of energy, but we couldn’t put the ball in the basket,” Plattsburgh coach Tom Curle said. “We were excitable.
“We fell behind 9-2, but we weren’t getting outplayed. We just couldn’t put the ball in.”
During that trying time, Bridgewater State (0-2) was able to build up an advantage of as many as nine points, but thanks to a number of hard-driving trips to the rim, the Cardinals were able to keep the Bears from taking a double-digit lead.
Jordan Moody sunk a pair of free throw attempts to put the designated home squad on the board for the first time at the 17:22 mark of the tilt, and additional charity stripe makes by Shamoy McIntosh, Xavier Thomas and Shavar Fields accounted for the next trio of points before the shots finally began to go through.
Directly after Fields capitalized on one of his free throw attempts at 11:21, senior Chris Manning did what he was the best in all of NCAA Division III basketball at last season. The Baldwin, N.Y., product swindled the ball from Tyler Demelo and drove coast-to-coast for an uncontested layup which proved to be the first field goal of the night for the Cardinals.