PLATTSBURGH — Following a successful weekend on the road, the Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team can’t afford a letdown tonight.
The Cardinals (10-3, 4-2) host Potsdam (2-11, 0-6) at 8 p.m. at Memorial Hall in SUNY Athletic Conference play.
“Potsdam plays the same conference schedule we do and they’re coming to us,” Plattsburgh coach Tom Curle said. “We play everyone in our conference twice during the regular season and every game carries the same amount of weight.
“We have juniors and seniors on the team who, hopefully, don’t look beyond any game. The Potsdam game is just as important as the two we played this past weekend.”
Plattsburgh wants to maintain its winning ways before heading back on the road for conference games at Buffalo State on Friday and Fredonia on Saturday.
The Bears have struggled so far this season, but a victory in Plattsburgh tonight would be a huge confidence booster.
“It’s a rivalry with Potsdam and any time we play them, you can throw out the records,” Curle said. “They are going to come at us hard, with a lot of emotion.”
The Bears dropped a 72-51 decision at Oneonta on Friday night, but rallied in the second half before losing a 66-64 contest at New Paltz on Saturday.
Former Peru Central School standout Rob Duquette leads the Bears in scoring, averaging 13.8 points a game, while Zac Adams follows at 11.1.
“That adds another aspect to the game,” Curle said. “Rob will be playing his final regular season college game in our gym. He’s had a really good career and he leads them in scoring and rebounding. He has played very well for them.”
Potsdam is being outscored by its opponents on average by a 76-64 margin.
The Cardinals are coming off wins at New Paltz (95-81) on Friday and Oneonta (84-73) on Saturday.
Plattsburgh was without the services of leading scorer Shamoy McIntosh against Oneonta due to an injury, but still pulled through.
McIntosh (15.4), Shavar Fields (13.4), John Perez (12.6) and Edward Correa (10.7) are averaging in double figures for the Cardinals, who are outscoring their foes on an average by a 79-70 margin.
Fields and Perez had strong performances in both games over the weekend.
Plattsburgh has had six different players lead the team in scoring in games this season, with Fields, McIntosh and Perez each leading the Cardinals three times in scoring. Perez is averaging a team-high 9.0 rebounds a game and Chris Manning is top in assists with a 4.8 average.
McIntosh is a question mark concerning his status for tonight’s game.
“I feel good right now about our team,” Curle said. “We’ve played half our overall schedule and we have a 10-3 record, including a 4-2 record in the conference. But we have lots of basketball left to be played and we have big goals. We have to keep moving forward.
“Brockport is the class of our league at this point, but everyone is beating everyone else. We’ve played only 33 percent of our conference schedule. This week is an important one for us, with three games. When the week is over, we would have played everyone once and have a better measure of where we’re at.
“We have to worry about our progress and play our game.”
The Cardinals shot the ball well in both games last weekend and played better defense on Saturday against Oneonta.
Plattsburgh shot a combined 56 percent (63-of-113) from the field and 54 percent (19-of-35) from 3-point range.
The Cardinals, however, struggled from the foul line, hitting 57 percent (34-of-60) in the two contests.