Men’s basketball tripped up by Plattsburgh, 91-77

Emmanuel Rodriguez, Associate Sports Editor

Guard Sheldon Adams sank four three-pointers, but it wasn’t enough as the SUNY Buffalo State Men’s Basketball team fell at home to the defending conference champions Plattsburgh Cardinals, 91-77, on Sunday afternoon.

“We just needed a little more mental toughness and we just didn’t have it today,” Bengals head coach Fajri Ansari said. “Part of it I’m sure had to do with playing back-to-back.”

After Cardinals forward Ian Howard laid the ball up and in to give the Cardinals a 17-point lead early in the second half, the Bengals went on a 10-0 run to cut the deficit down to seven, but that was as close as the Cardinals let the Bengals get for the rest of the afternoon.

Cardinals forward Jonathan Patron had a career day, dropping 41 points and snatching 10 rebounds.

“He’s tough, man, I’m not going to lie,” Bengals forward Kay Grant said of Patron. “We were worried too much about (Cardinals guard) Chris Middleton. Patron showed up.”

Grant coming off a career night, where he recorded the first 20-20 game in decades for the program, got into foul trouble early on and finished with only three points and two rebounds.

“It was night and day. I don’t think he was prepared,” said Ansari. “The energy just wasn’t there. They built off of Patron and that was the difference.”

Grant went 1-for-6 from the field on Sunday.

“They adjusted,” Grant said. “The paint was clogged up, I was getting double-teamed, I wasn’t getting my shot off right. Onto the next.”

Bengals guard Ryniek Holloway had an impactful presence with 16 points on 50% shooting from the field and a career-high nine assists, but he wasn’t thrilled.

“It’s hard to be happy after a tough loss like that,” Holloway admitted. “I know of my capabilities and looking forward, I hope it can get us more wins.”

Bengals guard Jordan Christopher also put on a good performance at the Sports Arena, dropping 17 points on 7-for-13 from the field and 8 rebounds.

“I don’t really pay mind to it unless we get the W,” Christopher said. “That’s all the really matters right now.”

With only four games left in the regular season, the Bengals hopes of making the playoffs took a major hit with the loss. The Bengals currently sit in 8th place in the SUNYAC standings.

“The guys who want to fight, they’re feeling optimistic. The others may be feeling like it’s time to throw in the towel. We’re still mathematically in this,” Ansari said.

The Bengals will be at home for the penultimate time on Tuesday night for a pivotal conference clash against the Geneseo Knights, who currently sit in 9th place on the SUNYAC standings. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.