The Plattsburgh State Men’s basketball team celebrated its seniors this past weekend and notched two wins at home. The Cardinals defeated the Cortland Red Dragons and the Oswego State Lakers.
PSUC (19-4) ended the first half of its game against the Red Dragons (16-7) with a 10-point lead but were outscored 32-38 in the second half. The Cards came out on top 71-67.
Senior forward Johnathan Patron was the leading scorer with 23 points.
In the second game of a back-to-back, the top two teams in the conference faced off as PSUC took on the Lakers
This game was also a celebration for the seniors.
Senior forward Chris Middleton gave insight on his tenure on the team.
“It is an amazing feeling getting the opportunity to play college basketball and being here for four years. I have grown up,” Middleton said. “My freshman year, I saw how to be led and make the playoffs and what it takes. Sophomore year, we were fighting to make the playoffs and things didn’t go our way. Junior year, we bounced back, won the championship, made it to the NCAA tournament and got pretty far. Now, it’s the last year. We know what we have to do. We have the blueprint, we just have to execute it.”
Senior forward Ian Howard also gave insight on his experience being on the team.
“It is a good feeling because my freshman year I didn’t play and sophomore year I rarely played,” Howard said. “My junior and senior year, I made a major impact. Being a senior, I help the other guys, so it has been a major achievement.”
PSUC head coach Tom Curle said it has been an honor to coach this group of men.
“These guys have been here for four years.” Curle said. “They have been committed to this college, they are going to graduate, they are all doing well academically. They have been a special group they won a conference title and made it to the sweet sixteen.”
Middleton said the biggest thing he learned from this experience was his ability to lead.
“Being here for four years, I’ve learned the leader I could be, how much of an impact I can make on others and how much others can look up to you and I grew into a leader,” Middleton said.
It was an even matchup as the Cards were up two at the end of the first half then pulled away in the second. The final score of that game was 67-56.
Curle said he wanted to get redemption for losing in their last matchup.
“They beat us last time,” Curle said. “They are very physical, very tough. I thought our guys had a good week in practice, and we had the home court advantage.”
The Cardinals will look to wrap regular season play on the road as they face the Oneonta Red Dragons (12-10) and the New Paltz Hawks (14-9).
Curle said the focus in those games will be to play defense.
“Against [Oneonta], we really need to guard set plays, out rebound them and try out match them physically,” Curle said. “Against New Paltz, we really want to control the penetration. They penetrate and kick we want to help early and allow them to kick it to the corner and not play help defense on the low block, we either want to help early or stay and not help at all.”