---- — LANCASTER, Pa. — The Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team is returning home licking its wounds.
After dropping a 71-55 decision to host and nationally-ranked Franklin & Marshall on Wednesday night, the Cardinals suffered an 87-69 setback to Salisbury in Thursday’s consolation game of the Sponaugle New Year’s Classic.
“We didn’t play real well,” Plattsburgh coach Tom Curle said. “We took a few steps backwards the last couple of days.
“The players have to understand that we still have a lot of work to do and a short time to get there. We’re in a phase that teams go through.”
The Sea Gulls (10-4), who held a 44-31 lead at the half, were led in scoring by Tim Harwood with 23 points. Trent Epps followed with 17, and Travon Vann contributed 14.
Jordan Moody led the Cardinals (7-4) with 11 points, while John Perez and Kalik Parker added 10 each. Perez was 5-of-7 and Moody 5-of-8 from the field.
The Cardinals substituted freely in the second half, and 14 of their 16 players ended up in the scoring column.
“We had some wide-open looks in the first half and weren’t able to knock them down,” Curle said. “Defensively, we took a few steps back and need some practice time.
“In the second half, we decided to play everyone and see who was going to give it their best effort. We still have so much to do with execution and timing, but what we were looking for in the second half was 100 percent effort.
“We wanted to build on something, and we went with units of five in the second half. We did play hard.”
Plattsburgh was beaten badly from the 3-point line, with Salisbury connecting on 10-of-19 from beyond the arc, while the Cardinals were just 4-of-23. Plattsburgh was also outrebounded 36-24.
It was close for the first 10 minutes in the first half, with the Cardinals holding a 20-19 lead at one time. The Sea Gulls, however, took charge after that to go up by 13 at the half.
“Salisbury went through the same thing we did yesterday, having not played,” Curle said. “At the beginning of today’s game, both teams were trying to give it away.
“The only real bad part was that a little frustration started to show, with our players getting on one another. But we nipped that in the bud right away, and we made that our emphasis. The players did a very good job in the second half.”
The Cardinals have a week to practice before going out on the road again when they return to SUNY Athletic Conference play two weekends from now at Geneseo and Brockport.
Geneseo has won six games in a row and is the lone unbeaten team in the conference with a 3-0 record. So it’s not going to get any easier for Plattsburgh.
Salisbury 87, Plattsburgh 69
Robeson 2-2-8, Harwood 6-7-23, Wilkerson 0-0-0, Strickland 1-0-3, Gore 4-0-9, Vann 3-8-14, King 0-0-0, Viqueira 1-1-4, Savercool 1-2-5, R. Miller 1-0-2, Ryan 0-0-0, Rogers 0-0-0, D. Miller 1-0-2, Epps 6-5-17, Ruland 0-0-0. Totals: 26-25-87.
Mitchell 1-0-2, Ottey 0-1-1, Manning 2-1-5, Outlaw 1-0-2, McIntosh 2-2-7, Perez 5-0-10, Tibbs 1-0-2, Williams 1-0-2, Fields 2-4-8, Moody 5-0-11, Baker 0-1-1, Parker 3-2-10, O’Shea 0-0-0, Correa 0-2-2, Hodgson 3-0-6, Siergiej 0-0-0. Totals: 26-13-69.
3-point goals: Salisbury (10): Harwood 4; Robeson 2; Strickland; Gore; Viqueira; Savercool. Plattsburgh (4); Parker 2; McIntosh; Moody.
Halftime: Salisbury 44-31.