Alex Park, Managing Editor
After a back-and-forth affair, the Oneonta Red Dragons fell to the Cortland Red Dragons 64-56. The loss drops Oneonta to 13-8 overall and 8-6 in the SUNYAC, while the Cortland victory allows them to leapfrog Oneonta in the SUNYAC standings (9-5). Cortland is now 15-6 overall.
Both the Oneonta and Cortland Red Dragons started out abysmal on offense but huge second half performances by Seniors Mikey McElroy and Jackson Zuvic had Oneonta in a position to win the game. McElroy finished with a game-high 20 points on 9-18 shooting, but it just wasn’t enough.
After Oneonta shot 8-29 from the field in the first half, they came out firing with threes from McElroy and Zuvic, matching their first half totals within minutes. Sophomore Carrel Joseph had an answer for every Oneonta run with timely buckets, finishing the game with 14 points and 8 rebounds.
With less than ten minutes to go in the second-half, Senior Jack Dignan hit a layup to tie the game at 46 before Cortland went on a game-clinching run led by Senior T.J. Hefele (8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists), as he continued to harass the Oneonta offense down the stretch on the defensive end.
Key turnovers in the second half led to easy buckets for the Cortland offense. Oneonta finished the game with 13 turnovers compared to Cortland’s seven.
After Dignan’s bucket, Oneonta’s offense stalled for the next four minutes before their next basket, but by that point it had already been too late. Cortland had extended their lead to as large as seven in the closing minutes of the game to push Oneonta down the standings in the SUNYAC rankings.
Dignan would go on to finish the game with 3 points and 4 assists on 1-8 shooting.
Defensive performances by Senior Kareem Williams and Junior Jack Kolosky allowed Oneonta to keep the Cortland bigs in check for most of the game. Williams finished the game with seven rebounds and two blocks while Kolosky notched ten rebounds, four on the offensive glass.
Junior Lawrence Coleman started the first half out slow but rebounded in the second half, helping provide the spark that Oneonta needed to stay in the game. Coleman finished the game with a double-double (11 points and 12 rebounds).
Oneonta takes on Brockport at home on Friday, February 12 in the Dewar Arena.
Stats of the Game
Oneonta gave up 14 points off turnovers compared to Cortland, who only gave up five. Cortland took advantage of second chances more often than Oneonta, winning the second-chance battle 17-11. Cortland’s bench outscored Oneonta 33-10. Oneonta shot 25% (7-35) from three for the game.
Cortland Guard Blair Estarfaa played 37 minutes, going 2-9 from the field, finishing with 6 points and 5 assists.
The Oneonta bench combined to go 4-14 from the field, with Freshman Ian Schupp knocking down the only three from players off the bench.