PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team played a near-flawless first half Friday night.
The Cardinals jumped out to a 52-25 halftime lead and recorded an 88-71 decision over Cortland in SUNY Athletic Conference play at Memorial Hall.
Edward Correa poured in 16 points and Ezra Hodgson 13 in the opening half as Plattsburgh (17-4, 11-3) jumped out to an early 23-4 and expanded its advantage to 27 following 20 minutes of play.
“That’s going to happen when you shoot 17-of-26 from the field and 8-of-13 from 3-point range in the first half,” Plattsburgh coach Tom Curle said.
“We played very well. We followed the game plan and our baskets came in the flow of our offense. And, it’s always good to have Correa and Hodgson start the game like they did with 3-pointers.”
Correa hit four 3-pointers and Hodgson three in the first 20 minutes.
Shavar Fields’ 2-pointer to begin the second half gave the Cardinals their biggest lead of the game, at 54-25.
But with Cortland reserve Blair Estarfaa lighting it up, the Red Dragons cut into the Cardinals’ huge advantage and eventually got their deficit down to 80-67 during the later stages of the contest.
That, however, would be as close as the Red Dragons (12-10, 7-8) would get.
John Perez hit a 2-pointer and then added a 3-point play to put the Cardinals back up by a 85-69 score.
“It’s part of sports everywhere — it’s human nature,” Curle said. “The players saw how their effort paid off in a big lead at the half and didn’t necessarily have that same kind of effort in the second half.
“But, when we needed a (defensive) stop, we were able to get it. And when we needed to make a basket, we were able to do so.”
Correa led five Plattsburgh players in double figures with 20 points, including five 3-pointers. Shamoy McIntosh added 16 points, Perez and Hodgson with 15 each and Fields, 10.