More of the Latest Plattsburgh Men's Basketball Stories
March 4: The Plattsburgh State men's basketball team saw its season come to an abrupt end at the hands of Fitchburg State on Friday night as the Falcons took down the No. 23 ranked Cardinals 84-81 in the first round of the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament at Memorial Hall. The Cardinals committed 19 turnovers on Friday, including three crucial blunders in the game's final two minutes and change. Needing a three to tie Fitchburg State at the end of regulation and force overtime, Plattsburgh State had nine seconds to work with coming out of a timeout. The Cardinals unfortunately never got a great attempt as Eli Bryant was forced to put up a prayer from way beyond the arc. The shot was no good and Plattsburgh State would not get another chance to tie as time ran out. After the visiting Falcons registered the first points of the game, the Cardinals quickly took a 3-2 lead thanks to Edward Correa's first of four triples on the evening. Correa was the main reason why Plattsburgh State only trailed one time the rest of the first half as he netted 17 points in shooting 6-of-9 from the floor, including 3-of-6 from three-point range in the opening stanza. While the Cardinals held the advantage for most of the first, their lead never grew over seven points, as Jaleel Bell kept his team right in the mix. Bell exploded in the second half with 19 points, going 7-for-10 and a perfect 2-for-2 from long range. The junior finished with a game-high 30 points and tied for a team-high five rebounds. The end of the first half featured a quick change of momentum as the Falcons blew a chance at taking a lead into halftime by missing a layup with 10 seconds left. Kyle Richardson grabbed the rebound and found Xavier Thomas, who then found Edward Correa for a layup with three seconds left. The Cardinals took a 37-34 lead into the locker room. Plattsburgh State built on its momentum early in the second as it took a double-digit lead for the first time in the game 3 ½ minutes in. Xavier Thomas found Majestic Grigg underneath the basket for an easy layup to make the score 49-38 in favor of the Cardinals. Grigg had his best game of the season on Friday night as he totaled 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting. At that point, the Falcons began to find themselves and rattled off a 10-2 run to cut their deficit to just three. Plattsburgh State responded with a layup by freshman Ian Howard, but Bell answered right back with one of his two threes in the second half to make it a two-point game at 13:31. After Correa starred with 17 points in the first half, Richardson one upped him with 20 in the second, highlighted by a nifty lay-up while getting fouled to put the Cardinals up 59-51 with 12:50 showing on the clock. The Plattsburgh State offense went cold following that sequence, as the team missed its next four shots as well as a pair of free throws. With just a tick under nine minutes left, an Anthony Muccoli three gave Fitchburg State the lead at 62-61; the Falcons' first lead of the game since the 6:23 mark of the first half. Back-to-back triples from Lance Hill and Jaleel Bell would up the Falcons' lead to 70-65. Fitchburg State got to the foul line 18 times in the second half, and made Plattsburgh State pay by making 15 of those 18 attempts. The Memorial Hall crowed needed something to get them going, and Richardson provided a spark by hitting a three with 4:12 left that got the Cardinals to within four points at 78-74. Following a pair of missed jumpers on the other end, sandwiched by two Richardson free throws, Eli Bryant sunk a triple to give Plattsburgh State a 79-78 lead. From the point on however, the Cardinals shot just 1-for-5 and turned the ball over three times. The Falcons meanwhile went 4-for-5 from the free throw line and got a big layup from Bell with just over a minute left to give them an 82-79 lead. Instead of going for a quick score down by three now with 30 seconds remaining, the Cardinals took over 20 seconds to complete their possession, which culminated with a Richardson layup to make the score 82-81 in favor of Fitchburg State. Plattsburgh State was now forced to immediately foul and hope a few missed free throws would benefit them. Unfortunately, Josh Bosworth made both attempts from the charity stripe make it a three-point game. Instead of fouling Plattsburgh State, Fitchburg State came up with a big defensive stop to close out the game and advance, as the Cardinals never got a great look from three. Both senior Richardson and Correa shined in the final games in Cardinal uniforms. Richardson finished with 26 points to go along with 15 rebounds while Correa totaled 20 points and had six boards. Bell's 30 points led the Falcons, who were also helped out by Lance Hill's 17 points and five rebounds. Fitchburg State advances to the second round and will face Johnson & Wales University, who knocked of Trinity College 75-73 in the first game at Memorial Hall Friday night. Saturday's second round matchup is set for a 7 p.m. start time. The Cardinals close out their season with back-to-back losses and finish with a 21-6 record. The team accomplished much more than anyone expected, and has much to look forward to in 2016-17 despite losing three key players in Kyle Richardson, Edward Correa, and Xavier Thomas.
Feb. 27: The No. 21 ranked and top seeded Plattsburgh State men's basketball team was taken down by Oswego State 81-74 on Friday night in the SUNYAC semifinal round in front of crowd of over 800 inside Memorial Hall on Friday night. The Lakers get a win over the Cardinals for the second straight season in the SUNYAC playoffs inside Memorial Hall. Much like the last two times he's played on Plattsburgh State's home floor, Oswego State junior guard Brian Sortino stood out among all players, as he registered a game-high 29 points on 8-of-13 (61.5-percent) shooting, including 3-for-5 from downtown and 10-of-13 from the free throw line. Senior Kyle Richardson led Plattsburgh State with 25 points to go along with eight boards. Richardson shot an even 50-percent, going 10-for-20 with two of his baskets coming from three-point range. First-year player Chris Middleton logged a career-high 20 minutes in Friday's game, and posted his first 10-plus point effort of his collegiate career. The New York, N.Y., product notched 12 points, shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from the field. Middleton's first-year teammates Eli Bryant and Jonathan Patron each finished with 11 points. The Lakers got off to a hot start, quieting down the raucous Memorial Hall crowd by jumping out to an 11-3 lead, fueled by a hot shooting start from Kyle Covley. The senior nailed two triples in the first four minutes of action. Plattsburgh State would respond with a 10-2 run, tying the game up at 13 apiece as things neared six minutes into the contest. Jonathan Patron had the touch from long range going as he sank back-to-back three-pointers. Patron continued to produce for the Cardinals, converting on an old-fashioned three-point play with 12:24 left in the first half, giving Plattsburgh State its first lead of the night at 18-15. That, however would be the last time the Huntington, N.Y., product put points on the board. The Cardinals' lead grew to 24-19 after Bryant drained a step back triple. The home team would remain on top for the next two minutes of play. Plattsburgh State had trouble finishing in the paint in the first half, mostly due to Oswego State's Mykelle Krecko. The 6-10 transfer junior had an eye-popping six rejections in just the opening stanza. Having made a whopping 18 three-pointers just two weeks ago inside Memorial Hall, the Lakers stayed hot from long range on Friday night, hitting 7-of-15 attempts in the first half. Three different Lakers had two each, while Demetrius Mitchell made his only attempt of the half. The Lakers took a chunk of the momentum heading into halftime by getting a pair of triples from Dustin Pond and Sortino to erase a three-point deficit and gain a three-point advantage. Oswego State would end up leading by just two at the break, 39-37. Much like they had to start the game, the Lakers got off to a great shooting start at the beginning of the second half, extending their lead to seven after an Alex Rawa three. Things looked grim when Patron landed awkwardly after a missed floater while driving towards the hoop in transition. Patron was helped off the court and did not return the rest of the game. Richardson however took it upon himself to jump start another Cardinal comeback, driving to the hoop for a pair of layups. Just prior to four minutes into the second, a beautiful Chris Middleton layup and free throw was overshadowed by Plattsburgh State's bench receiving a technical foul. Despite Sortino missing one of the two free throws, the Lakers kept a two-possession advantage. Memorial Hall got as loud as it's been all season after an Xavier Thomas put back dunk following a missed Bryant jumper, cutting the deficit to 52-50. Plattsburgh State followed that up with a three from Middleton, giving the crowd much to be excited about as the Cardinals took the lead back, 53-52. The Lakers, though never struggled in answering back, as a Rawa three and layup from Pond put them right back in front by four. Sortino would take over the game over the game final six minutes, as he scored 11 points and got to the foul line on several occasions. Up 69-68 with just over four minutes left, Sortino sank one of his three treys on the evening. Kyle Covley would then find Keith Tyson underneath the hoop for an easy lay in the give the Lakers a six-point advantage with 3:17 left. Richardson brought the Cardinals to within three points with a triple with exactly three minutes remaining, but Sortino would account for all of Oswego State's final six points. Following a stretch of two minutes without a basket, Sortino broke the ice with a layup to give the Lakers a 76-71 lead with 1:02 left. The Cardinals were unable to score on their ensuing possession, and from then on, Sortino made five of six free throw attempts to secure the win for the No. 4 seeded Lakers. Oswego State moves on to the SUNYAC title game for the second straight season. Saturday at 4 p.m., the Lakers will take on No. 2 seeded SUNY Cortland, the only SUNYAC team they have yet to beat this season. The Red Dragons slipped by No. 3 seeded Brockport by an 80-78 score in the first semifinal game on Friday night.