December 8, 2010


Skidding Cortland pays for second half drought

UTICA — Some second half scoring futility kept the SUNY Cortland men’s basketball team from putting an end to a frustrating losing streak.
Utica College out-scored the Red Dragons 14-0 over a decisive 10-minute stretch in Tuesday night’s non-conference contest, turning an eight-point deficit into an eventual 71-64 victory at the Clark Athletic Center.
After opening the season with a pair of wins, Cortland is now 2-5 overall with a fifth straight setback despite 25 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals from Dusty Marshall — the lone senior on Coach Tom Spanbauer’s squad.
Will Abrams finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds and Robert Whyte also scored 13 points as Utica improved to 6-1 on the season. James Patterson added 12 points and six rebounds for the Pioneers, Jeff Ward recorded finished with 10 points and six rebounds, and Kevin Johnson had nine points to go along with eight assists.
Cortland led 36-23 with 1:24 left in the first half after two Marshall 3-point shots. Utica finished the half on an 8-2 run, capped by a Marion Lewis layup at the buzzer, and Cortland was up 38-31 at the break.
Sophomore guard Jesse Winter scored 13 of his 16 points, while Marshall had 12 points, in the first half for Cortland.
The Red Dragons still led 56-48 after Winter nailed a 3-pointer — his third of the game — with 12:05 remaining. That’s when Utica held Cortland off the scoreboard for the next 9:32 staging a successful comeback.
Johnson’s basket tied the game with 6:34 left, and back-to-back three-point plays by Patterson and Whyte gave the Pioneers a 62-56 lead with 3:26 remaining.
Cortland point guard Ian Walcott ended the scoreless streak with a free throw at the 2:33 mark that drew Cortland within five, but the deficit never got any smaller. Marshall’s layup with 27 seconds left was Cortland’s lone field goal over the final 12:05.
Winter also grabbed a handful of rebounds to go along with his 16 points, while freshman center Kevin McMahon contributed seven rebounds and three steals. Junior Walcott handed out five assists.
The Red Dragons shot just 24 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes, going 7-for-29.
Cortland is off until returning to Utica on Saturday, Dec. 1, to face SUNYIT at 1 p.m. to close out first semester play.
Cohen Court Honor
SUNY Cortland point guard Brittany Cohen was named the SUNY Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week.
The junior out of Jamesville-DeWitt averaged 15.3 points and seven assists per game in three Cortland wins last week. The Onondaga Community College transfer is averaging 13.3 points and 6.5 assists per game this winter for the 6-0 Red Dragons.
Cortland, the defending SUNYAC champion, returns to action Dec. 18 at William Smith College in Geneva.


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