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January 4, 2016

Fifth straight Dragons win

BUFFALO — The SUNY Cortland men’s basketball team certainly did not waste any time getting back into the swing of things.
The Red Dragons opened up second semester play building a 23-4 lead over the opening 10 minutes behind a barrage of 3-pointers and went on to post an 87-67 victory over host Medaille College on Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore James Morales and junior Michael Kelly had career-high offensive outbursts in this non-league success story as the Red Dragons improved to 8-1 on the season with a fifth straight victory.
Morales finished with 20 points, featuring some 6-for-8 shooting accuracy from beyond the 3-point arc. Kelly came off the bench to finish with 18 points and three assists, making seven of the 11 shots he took on the Sullivan Center court.
The Red Dragons were 11-for-27 shooting threes over the opening 20 minutes while building a 43-27 halftime lead, and went 15-for-44 hoisting up treys for the game.
Starters Blair Estarfaa and Grequan Carter were also key contributors to the Cortland victory. Estarfaa finished with 15 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists. Carter’s final stat line read 12 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Having been idle since a Dec. 19 home court victory over SUNY Polytechnic, the Red Dragons displayed little rust with that quick 23-4 getaway. The Red Dragons made six 3-pointers in that stretch — three by Morales, two by Estarfaa and one by Carter.
The first half lead eventually grew to 41-19 on a Kelly trey with 2:58 left.
Medaille (3-7) closed to within 43-27 at halftime and cut the Cortland lead to 11 twice in the second half, the latter at 46-35 with 17:51 remaining. The Red Dragons’ lead remained in double figures, however, the rest of the way.
Mike Hallenbeck led Medaille with 17 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Justice Fagan added 16 points, six rebounds and three assists, and Meghale Ford dished out five assists.
Cortland men and women return to SUNY Athletic Conference play at New Paltz on Tuesday, the women’s contest starting things at 2 p.m. followed by the men at 4 p.m.

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