Sunday, January 23, 2022

Down, but not out, Cards lose in SUNYAC semis, awarded NCAA at-large bid

The Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team were on the road this past weekend where they lost in the SUNYAC semifinals 86-85 to the Brockport Golden Eagles. 

The Cardinals (20-6) ended the first half of their game against the Golden Eagles (17-11)  down nine. PSUC tried to spark a comeback in the second half as they outscored Brockport  45-37. The comeback was not enough as the Cards were defeated by a single point.

PSUC head coach Tom Curle said they came into the game with a different gameplan.

“We tried to keep them from getting to the rim,” Curle said. “They got the ball to the rim. We wanted to score inside. It was a good game.  Two good teams, you win some and you lose some, and it was well-played. It was a one-point game, could have gone either way.”

The Cards had 42 points in the paint while the Golden Eagles had 36.  

Junior guard Nick DeAngelis said the first half deficit played a key role in the loss.

“We were down 9 at halftime, so we dug ourselves into a bit of a hole,” DeAngelis said. “In the end, we let them stay longer than we should.”

Senior guard Brandon Johnson came up big at the end of the half hitting three straight threes to cut the lead down to single digits.

Senior forward Ian Howard said calls late game did not go their way.

“Brandon got fouled at the end, but they did not call it,” Howard said. “That’s how it goes sometimes. The referees will make those calls and sometimes they won’t.”

The SUNYAC tournament is over, but PSUC can now turn its attention to the NCAA Division III basketball tournament.

The Cards look to bounce back and make a run in the tournament.

Howard said they are not letting the loss affect them.

“The key thing is sticking together as a team and keep working hard in the last couple days of practice,” he said.

Curle said the cards are focused on making it far in the tournament.

“Survive and advance,” Curle said. “We are playing a good team this weekend. They have been to the tournament before. They have a good head coach, so they are going to come in really well-prepared. we have to focus in on our game.”

The Cardinals will be on the road again this weekend as they take on Gwynedd Mercy University (19-8).

Curle said it is tough to prepare for a team you do not usually play.

“It’s two teams that don’t know each other. You just try to play your game and see who comes out on top,” Curle said. “At this point, players got to make plays. If we don’t know what we are doing by now, then we are in trouble it’s about who executes better.”

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