January 25, 2012


Strong finish lifts Dragons

BROCKPORT — After squandered a late lead in a frustrating basketball loss at first place Oswego this past weekend, SUNY Cortland was a lot better down the stretch on Tuesday night.
Junior point guard Jesse Winter scored 15 of his career-high 26 points in the second half as the Red Dragons pulled away to defeat host Brockport 73-66 in a SUNY Athletic Conference match-up.
With the game tied at 57-57 with 7:43 left to play at Vlogianitis Gymnasium, Winter scored on a lay-up 16 seconds later and hit a clutch 3-pointer a minute after that to put the Red Dragons ahead to stay at 63-57.
The win puts Coach Tom Spanbauer’s team in sole possession of second place in the conference standings, Cortland 7-3 in SUNYAC play and 12-5 overall.
Winter made 7-of-14 shots from the field including three 3-pointers. He also made 9-of-14 free throws and dished out three assists in 39 minutes of playing time.
Junior Harrison Hefele connected on 4-of-6 shots from 3-point distance and finished with 14 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals for Cortland. Junior Brian Manning scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds and junior center Dan Sternkopf totaled nine points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Gerald Williams scored 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting for Brockport (6-10, 4-5 SUNYAC). Kyheem Green recorded 13 points and a game-high 16 rebounds and Jordan Major tallied 11 points. Derek Klein finished with seven assists.
Cortland trailed 23-15 with 8:41 left in the first half but quickly reduced the deficit to two on a pair of Hefele treys. The Red Dragons entered the locker room with a 33-32 halftime lead on a Jeremy Smith jumper at the buzzer.
Neither team led by more than five points in the second half until the final minute of play, Winter’s 3-pointer creating that 62-57 cushion with 6:27 remaining.
Brockport drew back within three points twice in the next two minutes, but each time Sternkopf responded with layups to push the lead back to five. The Golden Eagles were within three once more on a Williams free throw with 1:58 left. Winter answered with a layup 13 seconds later to give Cortland a 68-63 advantage.
Brockport missed two shots on its next possession. After a Cortland turnover, the Golden Eagles missed a 3-pointer with 54 seconds left and the Red Dragons regained possession.
Winter hit one free throw with 44 seconds left and Manning made a foul shot with 35 seconds remaining to put Cortland ahead 70-63. Major’s 3-pointer with 24 seconds left kept Brockport in striking distance, but Winter made two free throws with 23 seconds left and Sternkopf sealed the win with a foul shot with 12 ticks left.
Cortland makes its annual trip north this weekend, playing at Potsdam Friday at 8 p.m. and Plattsburgh Saturday at 4 p.m.


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