PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team is on a roll, but now comes the end of the first semester.
The Cardinals capped off a 3-0 week with a 93-85 victory over Buffalo State in SUNY Athletic Conference play at Memorial Hall on Saturday.
Plattsburgh (7-2, 3-1), after avenging two losses last season to Fredonia with a 72-58 win on Friday night, gained a measure of revenge on the Bengals, who beat the Cardinals by margins of 42 and 18 points a year ago.
“We’re playing real well, but it’s a decent time for a break,” said Plattsburgh coach Tom Curle. “The players have final exams coming up and that’s where their focus should be. They’ll need some time off.
“They’ll enjoy the break with their families, but hopefully they will stay in shape and keep working hard.”
The vastly-improved Cardinals now have seven wins on the season after winning eight all of last year.
It was also the first conference loss of the season for Buffalo State (5-2, 3-1), which had escaped Potsdam with a one-point win the night before.
“I’m very pleased with where we sit,” said Curle. “We’re tied for second in the conference at 3-1 and we’ve been doing the things it takes to be successful. We won a game on the road and protected our home court.
“It has put us in a good position.”
Leading the way for the Cardinals was Jordan Moody, who scored a career-high 21 points off 7-of-11 shooting from the field, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range.
“Jordan Moody really stepped up,” said Curle. “What he did offensively was gravy because of his defense on Jake Simmons (7 points), who will end up as the all-time leading scorer at Buffalo State. Jordan caused some frustration for Simmons.”
Also finishing in double figures for Plattsburgh were Ezra Hodgson with 13 points, and both Shamoy McIntosh and Kalik Parker with 10 apiece.
Guard Chris Manning tallied just one point, but dished out a team-high 11 assists and grabbed five rebounds. John Perez, a big key in the Cardinals’ win the night before, was held to two points, but paced Plattsburgh, along with Parker, with eight rebounds.
“I don’t know how Chris Manning was able to dominate the game without taking a field goal,” said Curle. “But he did.
“Buffalo State’s press had no bearing on him. And his teammates knew that if they got in front, he would get them the ball. He was very impressive as a floor leader.
“Every game is different. Buffalo State is long on the inside and that gave John (Perez) some problems. But he went and got possessions for us.”
The first half was a game of runs, with the Cardinals coming out strongly while taking a 20-6 lead.
The Bengals, however, cut the deficit to 26-22 before Plattsburgh regained the momentum and went up by 11, 50-39, after 20 minutes.
The Cardinals’ biggest lead in the second half was 52-39 early on. Buffalo State got to within 70-62, but no closer.
Plattsburgh had a good day shooting the basketball, going 48.5 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 72.4 percent from the line.
Anyar Majak and Roderick Epps accounted for a good share of the Bengals’ offense. Majak went 11-of-17 from the field for a game-high 27 points and Epps was 11-of-18 for 26. Ryan Carney grabbed nine rebounds for Buffalo State.
“Buffalo State is a very good team,” said Curle.
The Cardinals are off before returning on January 2 for an 8 p.m. non-conference game at Franklin & Marshall, which is currently ranked No. 8 in the country in Division III.
“Their coach (Glen Robinson) is in his 45th season and he has a record of 833-305 going into the season,” said Curle. “He is only the second Division III coach to go over 800 wins for his career.
“But we’re playing as aggressive non-conference schedule as we can.”
Buffalo State 85
Buffalo State (85)
Epps 11-0-26, Simmons 2-3-7, Hamer 3-1-7, Carney 2-0-5, Runge 1-0-2, Majak 11-5-27, Doyley 2-4-9, Castren 1-0-2, Owusu 0-0-0, Boyd 0-0-0. Totals: 33-13-85.
Moody 7-4-21, Hodgson 6-0-13, McIntosh 3-3-10, Perez 1-0-2, Manning 0-1-1, Parker 3-2-10, Mitchell 1-6-8, Fields 4-0-8, Tibbs 2-3-7, Williams 2-2-6, Correa 2-0-5, Sergiej 1-0-2, Baker 0-0-0. Totals: 32-21-93.
Halftime: Plattsburgh, 50-39.
3-point goals: Buffalo State (6): Epps 4; Carney; Doyley. Plattsburgh (8): Moody 3; Parker 2; Hodgson; McIntosh, Correa.