February 10, 2013

Cardinals clinch playoff spot with weekend sweep


---- — PLATTSBURGH — It was a very productive weekend for the Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team.

The Cardinals completed a weekend sweep at home Saturday with an 84-62 win over Geneseo in SUNY Athletic Conference play at Memorial Hall.

With the victory, Plattsburgh (15-7, 11-4) clinched a spot in the conference tournament and also moved into second place, trailing only Cortland. The Cardinals are two games up in the loss column over both Geneseo and Oswego in the battle for second.

“I think we may have clinched a playoff spot last night,” said Plattsburgh coach Tom Curle. “The players are beginning to realize what’s at stake.

“We’re one win away from a home playoff game. I’m definitely happy with the way we played over the weekend and I like the way we’re playing. Last year, we went 6-12 in the conference and this year we’re 11-4 so far.

“It was a big game for us today.”

It was a balanced offensive attack for the Cardinals on Saturday with eight players scoring seven points or more. None of the Plattsburgh starters hit in double figures, with three of those getting nine points.

“Opposing coaches look at that and say who do you try to stop,” said Curle.

Kalik Parker led the way with 14 points and Edward Correa added 10. Chris Manning added team highs of 10 assists and five steals, while Reggie Williams pulled down nine rebounds.

“We came out and executed right away,” said Curle. “We went on a 19-0 run within a 3-minute span in the second half to put them away.

“Earlier, they went to a zone and cut our lead to six. But we went to our bench to get a little taller line-up with shooters like Parker and Correa. They were able to hit some threes and it got us energized.

“We were able to play real well during that stretch.”

Plattsburgh shot 47.7 percent from the field and 37.0 percent from 3-point range. The Cardinals, however, held a 43-26 advantage in rebounding and forced the Knights into 20 turnovers.

“The thing that I’m most happy about is how we dominated on the boards,” said Curle. “Reggie Williams stepped up big and had a great game. He had an offensive rebound in the first half, dunked the ball, got fouled and hit the free throw.

“That sent a message to Geneseo that we were here to play. Williams had six offensive rebounds in all and made the right decision on all six.”

Curle also had praise for John Perez, who scored six points and added four rebounds.

“Both Brockport on Friday and Geneseo today tried to take John out of the game,” said Curle. “They were extremely physical on him and John showed remarkable composure and restraint. He showed a lot of leadership.

“We were able to win two games this weekend without John being on the top of his game.”

Gordon Lyons led Geneseo with 14 points, while Ryan Riefenhauser followed with 13 and James McKenna, 11.

“You have to put things in perspective for Geneseo,” said Curle. “They have a point guard who is hurt, they had a long trip in bad weather and they looked a little tired.

“Brockport and Geneseo played two contrasting styles against us this weekend and we were able to play our game against both. We were able to set the tone and the tempo in both.”

The Cardinals never trailed in the contest and held a 43-30 halftime advantage.

Plattsburgh has three conference games remaining — all at home — and host Potsdam on Tuesday at 8 p.m.

“Potsdam beat Geneseo on Friday night and they have all their people back,” said Curle. “It’s going to be a tough game for us.”

Plattsburgh 84, Geneseo 62

Geneseo (62)

Lyons 6-2-14, Riefenhauser 6-1-13, McKenna 4-2-11, Fedge 3-2-8, Jones 2-0-4, Drescher 3-0-9, Anderson 1-1-3, Hoy 0-0-0, Curry 0-0-0, Floyd 0-0-0, Oralls 0-0-0, Rogers 0-0-0, Zabransky 0-0-0, Callaghan 0-0-0, Keenan 0-0-0. 25-8-62.

Plattsburgh (84)

Hodgson 3-0-9, McIntosh 3-2-9, Moody 4-1-9, Manning 2-3-7, Perez 3-0-6, Parker 5-0-14, Correa 4-0-10, Williams 3-1-7, Fields 2-3-7, Tibbs 1-0-2, Outlaw 0-2-2, Sergiej 1-0-2, Baker 0-0-0, O’Shea 0-0-0, Ottey 0-0-0, Mitchell 0-0-0. Totals: 31-12-84.

Halftime: Plattsburgh, 43-30.

3-point goals: Geneseo (4); Drescher 3; McKenna. Plattsburgh (10): Parker 4; Hodgson 3; Correa 2; McIntosh.