After a disappointing road trip that put an end to its four-game winning streak, the Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team is hungry to even up its regular season record this Friday.
Currently standing at 10-11 overall and 6-9 against SUNYAC opponents this season, the Cardinals head into tonight’s game looking to come out with a win against Potsdam, a conference opponent, in order to keep their season alive.
“We go through the same preparations for every game, no matter who we’re playing,” junior forward Tim Smith said. “Any team can beat any other team on any given night. It’s a very important game for us, especially considering the position that we are in.”
At this point in the season, every game is important. With PSUC being just on the outside of the playoff picture coming into tonight’s game, this game is essentially a must-win.
“We’re just outside of the (playoff) picture right now,” Smith said. “We need to win as much as we can to give us the best chance to make the playoffs. At this point in the season, every game is important to us.”
The Cards were unable to pick up a win on the road last weekend against SUNYAC opponents Cortland and Oswego. They will look to change their fortune this weekend, and hope to even up their record on the road to 5-5 while securing a conference victory.
“It’s tough playing on the road, but we are glad to have Potsdam Friday, since it’s only an hour and a half away,” junior guard Zack Coleman said. “Now we’re in crunch time, so we have to stay focused. These road games are crucial, so we can’t take anything for granted.”
Smith and Coleman are two of the five juniors on the roster this year. In helping lead the way this season, they have noticed the amount of sheer talent this team truly has. Unfortunately, their record does not fully reflect their capabilities on the court.
“People can say it has been a ‘rebuilding’ year for us because we are very young, but everyone has had an opportunity so far and have shown what they can do,” Smith said. “The future is promising for us. It’s a very exciting thing to see, so we’re all thinking positively on what has yet to come for us.”
Despite losing both games last weekend, PSUC showed its resilience in bouncing back after being blown out by Cortland, by nearly taking down Oswego the very next day in a game decided by only two points.
“We’ve had our ups-and-downs on the road, for sure,” Coleman said. “We just have to go and get these wins and prepare for the SUNYAC playoffs.”
PSUC defeated Potsdam in its last meeting, 113-100, which is the Cards’ second-highest scoring output of the season to this point, and hope to put up a similar effort this time on the road.
“We have no room for losing,” sophomore forward Jonathan Patron said. “One loss and we’re out. So starting now, it’s like we’re already in the playoffs.”
Despite the Cards facing off against Potsdam tonight, a program that has a record of 2-20 this season, it will be important for PSUC to not get ahead of themselves and to play this game as if it is any other conference opponent.
“We don’t want to go out there thinking we’re going to beat them right away just because of their record,” Patron said. “It’ll be important to get off to a great start and to not come out slacking.”
Tipoff is tonight at 5:30 p.m. in Potsdam, where the two teams will battle it out in their final meeting of the season.
“After our two losses, we’re still only a game and a half behind,” Patron said. “We just have to win-out, and we’re all pretty confident in doing that.”
Email Ezra Kachaturian at firstname.lastname@example.org