BROCKPORT — Plattsburgh State men’s basketball coach Tom Curle said this weekend would be an opportunity for his team to prove itself.
The Cardinals (16-3, 10-2) took advantage of their first opportunity Friday night by holding on for a 92-89 victory at The College at Brockport (16-2, 10-1), handing the No. 15-ranked Golden Eagles their first loss in conference play.
“This was a really good win for us,” Curle said. “It was just a good college basketball game. There wasn’t a lot of execution, guys were coming at one another hard, and there were a lot of fouls.
“It was a loud, raucous gym and I was proud of our guys.”
The Cardinals had to overcome a 40-point performance from Brockport star John Ivy, who connected on 17-of-18 from the foul line.
“Our forwards were scoring and their guards were scoring,” Curle said.
“Every time Ivy went to the rim, we were fouling him. He’s a really good athlete who gets low and goes to the rim. Sometimes, he initiates the contact and sometimes we do. He was getting the benefit of the calls.”
Shavar Fields led the Cardinals with 23 points, while John Perez added 21 points and 15 rebounds.
Ezra Hodgson was a major factor off the bench with 15 points. Xavier Thomas chipped in 12 points and Shamoy McIntosh, 11.
Brandon Caruthers and Clifton Lyerly added 11 points each for the Golden Eagles, but Caruthers, a major key in Brockport’s earlier victory in Plattsburgh, finished just 2-of-11 from the field.
The two teams combined to shoot 87 free throws, with the Cardinals going 33-of-46 and Brockport, 32-of-41.
“Hodgson made two big free throws for us near the end and McIntosh, who missed two earlier foul shots, then hit two key ones,” Curle said.
Plattsburgh opened up a 43-36 lead in the first half and Brockport made a number of runs at the Cardinals in the second half.