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Geneseo State 86 Plattsburgh State 71
The final score doesn't indicate how close this game was for the first 36 minutes. It was a 2 possession game at 76-70 with 3:57 left in the game but Geneseo came down and got a layup from Jack Eisenberg to build the lead up to 8 points. The Cardinals came down, misfired, and Eisenberg was fouled. He made both free throws, the Knights had the first double digit lead of the game, and time was running out on the Cardinals. Plattsburgh came up empty the next 5 times they had the ball, as they turned it over or were throwing up shots from long distance, and the Knights increased the lead to the final 15 point margin.
Congratulations to Geneseo. They played better than Plattsburgh did, especially in the 2nd half and deserved to win this contest. I said in my earlier write up about the game, that Justin Ringen had struggled this season but I expected to see him at or near his previous All Conference form. He was all of that, as he captured scoring honors with 21 points.
If you had told me that John Decker would "only" get 16 points tonight, I would have bet that Plattsburgh would have been a double digit winner. If you told me that Plattsburgh would win the rebounding battle by a 49 to 32 margin I would have guessed that the Cardinals would have won this game by a fair margin. Instead, despite both of those stats, Plattsburgh was the double digit loser.
The game was a back and forth affair throughout most of the evening with 5 ties and 11 lead changes. The Cardinals went up early 9-4 and the Knights countered with a 14-2 run to go in front 18-11, forcing a Plattsburgh timeout. The Cards regrouped and outscored the Knights 12 -5 over the next 4 minutes to knot the score at 23 apiece with 7 minutes left in the period. The teams traded baskets for the rest of the half until Plattsburgh forged ahead by a 32-27 margin on a dunk by Eric Mack and a jumper by Eli Bryant. Justin Ringen then hit back to back 3 pointers in 29 seconds to erase that deficit and put the Knights back in front. Plattsburgh got a pair of free throws from Brandon Johnson and another dunk from the high flying Mack to go into the break up 36-33.
Plattsburgh opened the 2nd period with 3 baskets in their first 3 possessions to open up their largest lead of the game at 42-35. But once again Ringen was there with a pair of 3 pointers and when Jon Patron scored for the Cardinals, Jack Eisenberg fired up another 3 pointer for the Knights to put them in front 44-43. Zack Coleman scored on a drive for Plattsburgh for another lead change only to have Eisenberg bury another 3 ball.
John Decker would follow with a pair of fee throws and then he drained one from downtown and the Knights were up 52-47 and never trailed again. They had made five 3 pointers in 4:43 and went on to make 4 more from long range before the end of the period.
That was the story of the game. Geneseo was 12 for 26 from 3 point land (46.2%). The Cardinals were 1 for 18 (5.6%). That's a 33 point difference!!! I didn't think they could have a worse night from long range than they did in the St. Lawrence game, when they were 2x25 (8%) but they found a way. I hope those 2 games become the exception and not the rule.
The Knights placed 4 players in double figures led by Justin Ringen's 21 points (7x14 fg, 5x9 3's, 2x2 ft). He also had a game high 6 assists, with several coming from the high post to find a wide open teammate with no look passes. He added 5 rebounds and 3 steals.
John Decker had 16 points (4x10 fg, 2x4 3's, 6x6ft). He grabbed 3 boards, dished out 3 assists and had 1 steal.
Jack Eisenberg had a career high 16 points (6x10 fg, 2x4 3's, 2x2 ft), a team high 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist.
Northern New York product, sophomore Jack Manke, (Ogdensburg Free Academy) had 10 points (5x7 fg) 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a steal.
Kevin Crockett had 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
Tommy Eastman had 8 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist in 20 minutes off the bench, while Jordi Menkhorst added 4 points, 4 boards, an assist and a block in 17 minutes off the bench.
The Cardinals were led by Eric Mack with 15 points (6x13 fg, 0x2 3's, 3x3 ft). He had 6 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 blocks and 1 assist in 24 minutes of court time off the bench.
Ian Howard had the game's only double-double with 11 points (5x8 fg, 1x2 ft) and 10 rebounds. He added 2 steals and a block.
Jon Patron scored 8 points and had a game high 14 rebounds. He had 3 assists and a block.
Zack Coleman and Chris Middleton both had 9 points and 2 rebounds.
Brandon Johnson filled up the stat sheet with 8 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals in 22 minutes off the bench.
Eli Bryant also had 8 points, with 4 assists 1 steal and 1 rebound.
Isaiah Hill contributed 3 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 assist in 12 minutes of court time.
The Knights shot 30x61 49.2% fg 12x26 46.2% 3's 14x18 77.8% ft
Plattsburgh shot 29x76 38.2% fg 1x18 5.6% 3's 12x17 70.6% ft
The Cardinals had the big edge in rebounding as mentioned 49-32 but lost the ball 17 times to 12 for the visitors.
Geneseo improves to 5-3 overall and 2-1 in the YAC. They travel over to Potsdam to face the Bears this afternoon at 2:00 PM.
Plattsburgh falls to 6-2 overall and is also 2-1 in the conference. The Cardinals will host first place Brockport State this afternoon at 2 PM and will look to create the possibility of a 6 way tie for first place in the conference.