Cortland Men Strong in Second Half at Oneonta to Earn Eighth Straight Win

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ONEONTA, N.Y. – Cortland went on a 23-11 run over the first eight minutes of the second half to pull away from a tied halftime score and the Red Dragons went on to defeat host Oneonta, 85-65, for their eighth straight victory.
Justin Cooper (Pine Plains/Stissing Mountain) led Cortland (10-2, 4-1 SUNYAC) with 23 points, 13 rebounds and three assists. He made a career-high 15 free throws in 17 attempts. Of his 23 points, 19 came in the second half. Nicky Bonura (Mount Kisco/Fox Lane) scored 18 points, including three 3-pointers, and Kenny Charles (Huntington) added 11 points and a career-high 10 rebounds.
Also for the guests, Brendan Fitzpatrick (Plainview/Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK) scored a season-high eight points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting from the field and Zach Lydon (Elizaville/Stissing Mountain) had seven points and two blocks.
Oneonta (5-5, 0-4 SUNYAC) was led by Ian Schultz's 21 points, eight boards and three assists. He was 10-of-12 from the floor. Andres Rivera scored 17 points and grabbed seven caroms and Kevin Mackin totaled 11 points and four rebounds.
The teams were tied at 32 after a first half that featured six ties and 10 lead changes. Cortland built a four-point lead about five and a half minutes into the second half and was up 48-43 with 13:51 left. The visiting Red Dragons then scored seven straight on two Lydon layups and a Bonura 3-pointer to go up 55-43 with 12:07 remaining.
Oneonta got back to within single digits just once the rest of the game at 58-49 on a Rivera layup at the 8:58 mark. Cooper's jumper with 8:41 left and his two free throws at the 8:13 mark pushed the lead to 13, and the margin was at least 12 and as high as 22 the rest of the way.
Cortland shot 52 percent from the floor in the second half and 46 percent for the game. The Red Dragons hit only 7-of-23 shots from 3-point range but were successful on 22-of-25 free throws (88 percent). Cortland entered the game as the top-ranked free throw shooting team in NCAA Division III at 83.3 percent.
Oneonta shot 38 percent overall and only 17 percent (3-of-18) from long distance, and the hosts were 8-for-18 (44 percent) from the charity stripe.
Cortland will host Oswego Saturday at 4 p.m.