PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team’s first-half lead was cut to 28-26 when Potsdam scored six points in a row.
But when Mike Mitchell nailed a 3-pointer and Jordan Moody followed with a thunderous dunk along the baseline, the Cardinals were on their way to a 92-69 victory in SUNY Athletic Conference play at Memorial Hall Tuesday night.
With the win, Plattsburgh (16-7, 12-4) moved closer to clinching the second seed in the conference tournament, with conference-leading Cortland and Oswego coming to town this weekend to close out the regular season.
The victory, however, may have been costly for Plattsburgh. John Perez, who scored 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field in the first half, left early on in the second half with an injury and was taken to the hospital.
The Cardinals hit 35-of-68 shots from the field, good for 51.5 percent, and were 14-of-17 from the foul line.
“We played well tonight — and shot the ball well,” Plattsburgh coach Tom Curle said.
Perez and Shamoy McIntosh led the Cardinals with 14 points each, while Moody finished with 13, and both Chris Manning and Shavar Fields 10 apiece.
Reggie Williams added nine points, a team-high 12 rebounds and three blocked shots, and Manning, who leads all of Division III in steals, ended up with seven steals and seven assists.
“Reggie Williams continues to play good basketball for us, especially on the boards,” Curle said.
Mark Lake Jr. paced the Bears (9-14, 5-11) with 14 points, while Curtis Pierce and former Peru Central standout Rob Duquette chipped in with 12 apiece. Duquette also had four rebounds.
The Cardinals, however, limited Pierce, who came in averaging 18 points a game, to only 3-of-11 from the field.
It was an emotional game between the two North Country rivals.
“It was emotional from start to finish,” Curle said. “We were able to increase our intensity and focus, except for two or three times when we lost our composure — myself included.