By JOHN CORYER
---- — PLATTSBURGH — It continues to be a learning process for the Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team.
The Cardinals, who had their share of good moments, led by as many as 22 points Friday night before settling for a 72-58 SUNY Athletic Conference win over Fredonia at Memorial Hall.
“I’m happy with the result and effort,” said Plattsburgh coach Tom Curle. “But I’m unhappy with our level of concentration.
“At times, we did everything we’re trying to do. But great teams don’t commit 27 turnovers. The turnovers were more a mental problem.”
The Cardinals (6-2, 2-1) fell behind, 5-0, to start the game and then went on a huge roll, scoring the next 23 points, including a trio of 3-pointers by Shamoy McIntosh, for a 23-5 advantage. The lead got as big as 26-7 before Plattsburgh took a 42-25 edge into halftime.
Plattsburgh’s biggest lead in the second half, with John Perez scoring five points in a row during one stretch, was at 59-37 before the Blue Devils (4-4, 1-2) drew as close as 12, at 65-53 and then 67-55, late in the contest.
Perez tallied a couple of two-point baskets off rebounds as the Cardinals went back up, 72-56, in the closing seconds.
“We came out and played well,” said Curle. “But we got sloppy at times and still need to learn how to finish games. We won’t have many games like this where we have a big lead. We got caught up in the ‘wow’ factor after getting the big lead, figured we were going to win and that’s not who we are. We’re a blue-collar team.
“I want us to be as good as we can be.”
Perez had a big game for the Cardinals, going 7-of-11 from the field on the way to a game-high 18 points. He also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
“For just about the entire game, John Perez personified who we are,” said Curle.
Four Cardinals hit in double figures, with Kalik Parker scoring 12, Shamoy McIntosh 11 and Shavar Fields, 10. Chris Manning added six rebounds and dished out a game-high eight assists.
“They couldn’t guard us inside,” said Curle. “I felt we should have gotten the ball inside more — we didn’t pass the ball that well tonight.
“We ended up shooting 9-of-23 on 3-pointers, but it could have been 9-of-16 if we went inside and then outside more.”
Joe Monahan paced Fredonia with 16 points and six assists, while Dalton Kashmer added 11 points and Tyrone Clark eight.
The two teams combined for 51 turnovers, including 24 by the Blue Devils.
The Cardinals, who avenged two losses to Fredonia last season, did a good job on the boards, finishing with a 43-28 advantage.
Plattsburgh is back at Memorial Hall for a 4 p.m. conference game today against Buffalo State, which is unbeaten in SUNYAC play. The Bengals, however, needed a basket with three seconds left Friday night for an 85-84 victory at Potsdam.
“Tomorrow’s game is going to be a different story,” said Curle.
Today’s contest will be the final one of the first semester for the Cardinals.
Plattsburgh 72, Fredonia 58
Monahan 5-3-16, Clark 4-0-8, Kashmer 4-1-11, Billups 1-1-4, Deboy 2-0-4, Parris 1-2-5, Lyles 0-0-0, Rogers 2-0-5, Kovach 1-1-3, Case 1-0-2. Totals: 21-8-58.
Manning 0-4-4, McIntosh 4-0-11, Perez 7-4-18, Moody 2-2-7, Hodgson 1-0-3, Mitchell 0-0-0, Ottey 0-0-0, Outlaw 0-0-0, Tibbs 1-0-2, Fields 3-4-10, Baker 0-2-2, Parker 4-1-12, O’Shea 0-0-0, Correa 1-0-3. Totals: 23-17-72.
Halftime: Plattsburgh, 42-25.
3-point goals: Fredonia (8): Monahan 3; Kashmer 2; Billups; Parris; Rogers. Plattsburgh (9): McIntosh 3; Parker 3; Moody; Hodgson; Correa.