Cortland Wins Back-and-Forth Affair at Ithaca, 85-75

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ITHACA, N.Y. – Nicky Bonura (Mount Kisco/Fox Lane) scored 22 points, including six 3-pointers, and Justin Cooper (Pine Plains/Stissing Mountain) totaled 19 points, 13 rebounds and three assists as Cortland defeated host Ithaca, 85-75, in non-league men's basketball action.
Zach Lydon (Elizaville/Stissing Mountain) added 13 points and Kenny Charles (Huntington) scored a career-best 12 points for the Red Dragons (2-1), who were playing their first game since losing at Division I Wagner two weeks ago. Charles and Mike Arias (Garnerville/North Rockland) each grabbed five rebounds.
Sebastian Alderete and Riley Thompson combined for 49 points for Ithaca (1-2). Alderete finished with 26 points and five rebounds. He made 5-of-8 3-pointers. Thompson tallied 23 points and had three assists. Matt Flood chipped in with 10 points and five rebounds and Jake Mitchell ended with five assists and three steals.
The game featured 19 lead changes, 14 in the second half. Cortland led 34-32 at halftime, and neither team led by more than four points for the first 12-plus minutes of the second half. Leading 63-61, the Red Dragons used a Ben Walters (Lockport/Starpoint) 3-pointer and two Cooper free throws to go up by seven with 7:08 remaining. The Cortland lead grew to nine a few times over the next four minutes, the last at 79-70 with 3:09 left on a Bonura 3-pointer.
Ithaca answered with a 5-0 run, capped by a Alderete trey with 2:14 left, to cut Cortland's lead to four. The Bombers missed a 3-pointer on their next possession and Cooper sank two foul shots with 1:46 left to push the lead to four. After an Ithaca miss, Cortland ran down most of the shot clock before Bonura buried a 3-pointer at the 1:07 mark to give Cortland an 84-75 advantage. The only scoring the rest of the way was a Cooper free throw with 45 seconds remaining.
Bonura finished 8-of-15 from the floor overall and 6-of-13 from the arc. Cooper made 7-of-10 field goals and 5-of-6 from the line and Charles was 4-of-6 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe. As a team, Cortland shot 54 percent overall and 38 percent (11-of-29) from long distance as well as 78 percent (14-of-18) from the foul line. Ithaca shot 44 percent overall and 41 percent (12-of-29) from 3-point distance.
Cortland starts SUNYAC play Friday by hosting Brockport at 7:30 p.m.