PSU Sports

March 14, 2014

Cardinals return to Amherst for 'business trip'

PLATTSBURGH — On December 6, 2012, the Amherst College men’s basketball team dropped a 78-70 home game to Babson College at LeFrak Gymnasium.

The Lord Jeffs haven’t lost at home since — a span of 27 games.

Plattsburgh State (24-5) will look to put that streak to the test in the third round of the NCAA Division III Tournament tonight.

Seventh-ranked Amherst (25-3), the defending national champions, will oppose the Cardinals at 7:30 p.m. The first game of the day has Richard Stockton (25-4) taking on surprising Morrisville State (21-8) at 5:30 p.m.

Tonight’s winners will meet at 7 p.m. Saturday, with a berth in the Final Four on the line.

“We’re not going there for fun — this is a business trip,” Plattsburgh coach Tom Curle said. “We’re going there expecting to win.”

The two teams met at LeFrak Gymnasium last season in the second round of the tournament and the Lord Jeffs got the early jump on the Cardinals and recorded an 89-72 victory on their way to the national title.

“We had to scramble after falling behind and did cut it to seven points at one point,” Curle said. “Going there again was almost meant to be. If Cabrini had beaten Richard Stockton this year, Cabrini probably would have hosted it instead of Amherst. It’s more of a regional nature.

“Amherst is in the top 10 and we’re unranked. But you can throw perceptions out the window. We believe in one another on our team, and we’re going into the weekend with a lot of confidence.”

The Lord Jeffs were one of two teams to have a bye in the opening round of the tournament and weren’t at their best in a 63-51 victory over York last weekend in the second round at home.

Amherst is averaging 84.5 points a game and surrendering 71. Standout Aaron Toomey (20.3), Connor Green (18.2), Tom Killian (14.8) and David Kalema (12.5) are averaging in double figures.

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