CORTLAND, N.Y. – Junior Kevin McMahon (Hoosick Falls) made 8-of-10 shots from the floor and led Cortland with 20 points and eight rebounds as the Red Dragons clinched at least a share of the SUNYAC title with an 87-47 blowout over visiting New Paltz.
Cortland, ranked 23rd nationally by D3hoops.com, won its 12th straight game and is now 20-3 overall and 14-2 in the league. The Red Dragons have posted consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time since reaching the mark three straight years in from 1998-2001 (23-7 in 1998-99, 24-5 in 1999-2000 and 21-7 in 2000-01).
Cortland holds a two-game lead over Plattsburgh (12-4 SUNYAC) in the SUNYAC standings with two games remaining. Cortland plays at Plattsburgh Friday night and completes the regular season Saturday afternoon at Potsdam.
Senior Jeremy Smith (Bronx/Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy) scored 13 of his 18 points in the first half as Cortland opened a 48-21 halftime lead. He finished the game 4-of-9 from three-point range and had three assists. Senior Brian Manning (Elmira/Southside) scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds, senior Jesse Winter (Rockville Centre/South Side) led the team with seven assists and senior Dan Sternkopf (Washingtonville) blocked three shots.
Matt Devine led New Paltz (10-14, 8-9 SUNYAC) with 20 points on 8-of-17 shooting. Deveino McRae added eight points and 10 rebounds. The Hawks are the last team to defeat Cortland back on Jan. 8 in New Paltz.
Cortland shot 54 percent in the first half, including 7-of-17 from three-point range. The Red Dragons finished the game at 48 percent from the floor with 11 three-pointers. New Paltz, conversely, made only 27 percent of its shots in the first half and ended the game at 30 percent. The Hawks also committed 24 turnovers to Cortland's nine.
Cortland extended its 27-point halftime lead to 30 five minutes into the second half. The Red Dragons' lead was in the 30-point range for the final 13:19 until a late basket created the final 40-point margin.