The Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team ended its season on the road last weekend as they lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament against Gwynedd Mercy University 73-65 in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Junior Gwynedd Mercy guard Rich Dunham led all scorers with 22 points on an efficient 9-14 shooting from the field to go along seven assists and five rebounds.
The first half, despite only three lead changes, remained close throughout the opening period with the highest lead advantage being eight for the Griffins in the closing two minutes of the half.
The Cardinals (20-7) ended the first 20 minutes of their game against Gwynedd Mercy (20-8) down six by a score of 38-32.
PSUC couldn’t spark a comeback in the second half as they were outscored 35-33.
Helping put away PSUC in the last half was Griffins’ junior guard Jeff Seigafuse, who scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half on just three field goal attempts while shooting perfect from the free throw line through seven attempts.
Senior guard Brandon Johnson was the leading scorer for the Cards with 17 points. He also grabbed four rebounds all while shooting 6-15 from the field and shooting 5-10 from the three point line.
In his last game as a Cardinal, senior forward Jonathan Patron scored five points on 20 percent shooting from the field to go with eight rebounds and three turnovers.
PSUC brought the ball inside and scored 24 points in the paint while Gwynedd Mercy had 12 points in the paint. The Cards also scored 21 second chance points while Gwynedd Mercy had nine.
PSUC finished its regular season second in the SUNYAC conference behind the Oswego Lakers (15-3).
Patron led the conference in points and rebounds per game. Patron was averaging 23 points and 11 rebounds per game.
For his performance this season, Patron was named Player of the Year for the second-straight season as well as to the All-Conference First Team twice in a row by SUNYAC.
Teammates Brandon Johnson and Chris Middleton also received All-Conference honors by being named to the SUNYAC All-Conference second and third teams, respectively.
PSUC was fourth in the conference for points per game by scoring 81 points a game. They were also sixth in field goal percentage, shooting 43 percent from the field and seventh in three-point percentage, shooting 33 percent. They were ninth in free throw percentage shooting 63 percent from the free throw line. They were first in the conference in rebounds per game averaging a solid 46 boards.
Entering next season, the Cards will graduate six seniors including big contributors in Patron, Johnson, Middleton and Ian Howard.
Patron, Middleton and Johnson alone accounted for 50 points out of the 81 points PSUC scored per night this season.
Next season, the Cards will be left with three seniors in guards Nick Deangelis and Jeremy Eisenman and forward Adam Jaquish.
DeAngelis had started in eight of the 26 games he played, which is the most of the upcoming senior class.
PSUC head coach Tom Curle will look for his sixth SUNYAC championship next season as he retools his team.