January 8, 2014


SUNYAC basketball: Dragons grab 3rd straight triumph

NEW PALTZ — Coming out of halftime down by three points, SUNY Cortland men quickly took control of last night’s conference basketball road trip.
The Red Dragons went on a 20-6 run over the opening nine minutes of the second half — with senior center Kevin McMahon scoring eight of his 13 points during that stretch of success — to build a double-digit lead that eventually turned into a 72-69 victory at New Paltz on Tuesday night.
Fresh from capturing the Catholic University Holiday Inn College Park Classic tourney title this past weekend, Cortland had five players score in double figures while securing a third straight win.
Junior Lamard Herron had a team-high of 16 points and six assists as Cortland improved to 2-1 in SUNY Athletic Conference play and 7-3 overall.
To go along with his 13 points at the Hawk Center, McMahon also grabbed nine rebounds and came up with three steals. Sophomore point guard T.J. Hefele, sophomore guard Blair Estarfaa and senior sparkplug Garen Spendjian scored 10 points apiece for the Red Dragons.
Hefele also finished with four rebounds and three assists, Spendjian had five rebounds and two steals, and Estarfaa made 4-of-5 shots from the field.
Taylor Sowah led New Paltz (1-1 SUNYAC, 4-6 overall) with 18 points in addition to registering seven rebounds and two blocks. R.J. Rosa chipped in with 13 points and five rebounds and Keegan Donovan scored nine points.
After that early second half surge, the Cortland lead was 60-47 after a Brendan Ferguson 3-pointer with 4:34 left and the visitors still held a 9-point edge at 68-59 after a Hefele free throw with 40 seconds remaining.
Three-pointers by Andrew Joseph and Nick Taldi, however, sandwiched around one Herron free throw, pulled the Hawks within 69-65 with 18 seconds left.
Hefele sank two foul shots to give Cortland a 6-point cushion. Sowah made a layup with six seconds left. Cortland scored its final point on a Tyree Glascoe free throw with four seconds remaining, and Sowah completed the scoring with a put-back dunk just before the final buzzer.
New Paltz led 10-2 less than three minutes into the contest. Cortland mounted a 12-4 run, featuring seven points by Estarfaa, and tied the game at 14-14. The Red Dragon trailed 32-29 at halftime before that second half scoring spree put them ahead for keeps.
Cortland will host Buffalo State Friday at 8 p.m. and Fredonia Saturday at 4 p.m. in SUNYAC match-ups at Corey Gymnasium.
Also in the conference last night, Oneonta came up with a 75-69 overtime win over Oswego while Brockport’s visit to Geneseo was postponed by a snow storm. Plattsburgh and Potsdam both picked up non-conference wins, Plattsburgh knocking off Middlebury 63-47 while Potsdam nipped Manhattanville 68-65.


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