The Plattsburgh State’s men’s basketball team had plenty to be jubilant about after defeating SUNY Oneonta 93-80 in the SUNYAC basketball championships in Memorial Hall on Feb. 24. The Cardinals lengthened its winning streak to 19 games after defeating Oneonta.
PSUC advanced to the SUNYAC championship game by defeating Oswego State 89-76 on Feb. 23. Oswego played its semifinal game without leading scorer Jamir Ferebee. Ferebee, who averaged 16.1 points per game this season, broke his foot during the Lakers’ win at SUNY Geneseo on Feb. 20.
Zack Coleman, a senior guard for the Cards, shared his thoughts about winning the SUNYAC championship in his final season as a Cardinal.
“I mean, right now, it’s kind of surreal and coming up short a couple of times, it’s kind of hard, but this year, we are surrounded by a great group of guys that are tremendous basketball players,” Coleman said. “It’s a privilege to even be on the team again.”
PSUC’s win wasn’t without competition from Oneonta. The Cards only led by three points at halftime and the score was tied seven times throughout the second half.
PSUC received a dominant performance from junior forward Jonathan Patron, who scored 41 points and recorded nine rebounds. Patron broke the SUNYAC tournament record for most field goals made in a single game with 16. For his outstanding performance in the SUNYAC championship tournament, Patron was awarded the Most Valuable Player award.
Ian Howard also played a significant role in the Cards’ victory over Oneonta. He earned a double-double with 15 points and 16 rebounds, an effort noteworthy enough for him to be named to the all-tournament team.
Head coach Tom Curle outlined Howard’s importance in the championship game.
“He got some rebounds that just were inhuman,” Curle said. “Yesterday, I made the mistake of not putting him in there enough, and he showed me why I made a huge mistake.”
By defeating Oneonta, the Cards earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III basketball tournament. No. 16 PSUC will host No. 22 Nichols College (25-3), a small private college located in Dudley, Massachusetts, in its first-round game in the NCAA basketball tournament on March 2 at 7:30 p.m.
The Bisons enter the tournament on an 11-game win streak.
If the Cards are victorious against Nichols, they will play the winner of the game between Union College and New Jersey City University at 7 p.m. Saturday. All three games will be hosted at Memorial Hall.
Patron shared how he felt about PSUC’s first-round opponent in the NCAA Division III tournament.
“There’s no particular team I care about playing against,” Patron said. “I’m just ready to play whomever they send at us.”
Email Nate Mundt at firstname.lastname@example.org