The Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team achieved one of its major goals set at the beginning of the season by capturing the SUNYAC regular season title.

The Cardinals secured the conference with a 93-62 win over Potsdam at Memorial Hall Wednesday night and clinched home-court advantage in the process, which the team considers a great accomplishment.

“It feels amazing,” senior guard and forward Xavier Thomas said after the victory. “We did it last year and got where we wanted to be and put ourselves in a great position, but when it was time, we couldn’t finish it off. We got another chance this year to get it done.”

With all the success PSUC has endured this season, head coach Tom Curle knows the team’s success will only motivate opponents in future contests.

“Success this year has given us a lot of recognition — locally, regionally and nationally a bit,” Curle said about coming into the playoffs. “It’s harder to stay there than it is to get there, so we’re feeling good in the fact that we’re playing well, but we know that everybody is looking to knock us down.”

Prior to the win against Potsdam Wednesday, the Cards hosted SUNY Cortland and Oswego State last Friday and Saturday.

The Cards split the weekend series, defeating the Red Dragons 99-78 and falling to the Lakers 90-74.

If it weren’t for a 38-point performance by Lakers guard Brian Sortino, the Cards most likely would have obtained yet another weekend sweep. However, PSUC fell short despite another strong game put in by senior guard and forward Kyle Richardson.

Richardson has been putting up phenomenal numbers all season long, averaging a double-double along the way, hauling in over 10 rebounds a game and scoring nearly 20 points each time out.

Richardson’s contributions this season is a large reason why the Cards are enduring such great, constant success this season.

“We just have to feed it to the post because nobody can guard him,” sophomore guard Zack Coleman said about Richardson. “If we can get Kyle to have a good game, it just makes everyone better no matter who comes off of him.”

Coleman does a lot of feeding to his teammates as well as Kyle, as he dished out 10 assists over the weekend split.

He also emphasized the team’s need to stay focused and confident moving forward as they continue to face challenging opponents.

After completing their final home stand of the season before the final two games on the road, PSUC stands with an overall record of 19-4 and 14-2 in the conference.

Following the Cards victory over Potsdam, PSUC will travel to square off against Brockport and then Geneseo in the final game of the season.

The team continues to be riding the waves when it comes to team chemistry on the court and in the locker room this season.

“Everybody feels like they belong, which is one of the most important things right now,” Thomas said.

As the visiting team this season, the Cards are 7-2 and are without a loss since Dec. 12, which came against Middlebury College.

Despite PSUC falling short to Brockport last time out, the Cards look to even up the season series with a win against the Golden Eagles on the road and look to notch the season sweep against the Knights in Geneseo.

The task at hand coming into the final two games of the season is simple: Play hard and win.

Email Ezra Kachaturian at ezra.kachaturian@cardinalpointsonline.com

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