February 2, 2013

Perez leads Cards past Red Dragons, into playoffs


---- — ONEONTA — The Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team put it together offensively Friday night.

The Cardinals shot 60.3 (35-of-68) from the field and 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from 3-point range in an 86-77 victory at Oneonta in SUNY Athletic Conference play.

John Perez had a big game for the Cardinals (13-6, 9-3) with 20 points and seven rebounds. Perez was 9-of-13 from the field.

Jordan Moody added 13 points, Ezra Hodgson 11 and Kalik Parker, 10. Chris Manning dished out a team-high eight assists, and he and Perez each had three steals.

“We ran our offense well,” said Plattsburgh coach Tom Curle. “We got the ball to the right people. They had trouble guarding us inside and we finished tonight.

“A lot of guys played well offensively.”

It was a nice win to start the weekend on the road, but Curle wasn’t pleased with everything.

“Defensively, we worked on two things specifically in practice — boxing out the perimeter guys and not letting people advance down the floor. But we allowed those two things to happen. We did a poor job rebounding tonight.

“They beat us to some loose balls and got to some long rebounds. With our quickness, that shouldn’t happen. But everything else we did very well.”

Jackson Zuvic paced the Red Dragons (2-17, 1-11) with 23 points, while Zach Mager added 21, including 12-of-12 from the foul line. Frankie Kelly scored 13 points and Jack Dignan added 10.

“Mager can shoot — he’s tough to defend and he makes his foul shots,” said Curle.

The Cardinals surrendered the first basket of the game but led after that, including a 44-32 halftime advantage.

“We jumped out on them early,” said Curle.

The Cardinals’ halftime lead was their biggest in the first 20 minutes.

Plattsburgh appeared to be in great shape when it went up, 69-52, at one time in the second half.

But Oneonta began a comeback that ended when it cut the deficit to 81-77 on a Mager layup with 1:09 left.

But those would be the final points for the Red Dragons.

“We turned their point guard over 10 times,” said Curle. “But they still had a lot of assists, especially late in the game when they got to within four points in the final minutes. But we were able to score the last five points.”

The Cardinals will go for the weekend sweep when they play at New Paltz today at 4 p.m. The Hawks were an 83-65 winner over Potsdam on Friday night.

“Getting the first win on the weekend gives us the opportunity to win two,” said Curle. “We now have a 2-game lead in the loss column over Oswego for third place.

“We’re now 100 percent in the playoffs. It’s mathematically impossible for us not to be in the playoffs. But our next game becomes our most important one and we want to get a home game in the first round of the playoffs.

“We have to win tomorrow.”

Plattsburgh 86, Oneonta 77

Plattsburgh (86)

Perez 9-2-20, Moody 6-1-13, Hodgson 4-0-11, Manning 2-3-7, McIntosh 2-0-4, Parker 4-1-10, Correa 3-0-9, Fields 2-1-5, Mitchell 2-0-5, Tibbs 1-0-2, O’Shea 0-0-0, Williams 0-0-0. Totals: 35-8-86.

Oneonta (77)

Zuvic 10-1-23, Mager 4-12-21, Kelly 5-2-13, Dignan 3-3-10, Parker 2-0-6, Lee 1-1-4, Sarchioto 0-0-0, Thomsen 0-0-0, Brink 0-0-0, Hooks 0-0-0. Totals: 25-19-77.

Halftime: Plattsburgh 44, Oneonta 32.

3-point goals: Plattsburgh (8): Hodgson 3; Correa 3; Parker; Mitchell. Oneonta (8): Zuvic 2; Parker 2; Mager; Kelly; Dignan; Lee.