CORTLAND, N.Y. – James Morales (Mount Kisco/Fox Lane) hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 25.4 seconds remaining and St. John Fisher had a potential jumper rim out at the buzzer as Cortland defeated the visiting Cardinals, 70-69, in a non-league men’s basketball matchup.
Cortland improved to 3-1 with the victory. St. John Fisher, which was ranked in the D3hoops.com national top 25 to start the season, is now 2-3.
Neither team led by more than six points over the game’s final 34 minutes. Cortland trailed 59-53 with 8:51 remaining, but tied the game on back-to-back 3-pointers from Nicky Bonura (Mount Kisco/Fox Lane) over the next two minutes. Morales tipped in his own miss with 5:06 left, and Justin Cooper’s (Pine Plains/Stissing Mountain) 3-pointer with 4:21 left gave Cortland its largest lead of the night at 64-59.
Ryan Henderson answered with a 3-pointer for Fisher, but Bonura’s trey pushed the lead back to five with 3:32 left. Henderson, however, scored the next five points on a 3-pointer and a jumper, and the game was tied at 67-67 with 1:32 on the clock.
Each team was stopped on its next possession. Cortland took the lead for good when Morales buried an open 3-pointer from the left corner, off a feed from Cooper. Fisher missed a potential tying 3-pointer, but grabbed the offensive rebound, and Henderson’s dunk with eight seconds left drew the Cardinals within one.
Cooper was fouled with 6.4 seconds left, but his free throw on the front end of a 1-and-1 went in-and-out. Tyler English grabbed the rebound, dribbled down the right sideline and pulled up for a contested jumper just inside the 3-point arc. His shot rolled around the rim and off as the horn sounded.
Bonura led Cortland with 21 points in 26 minutes off the bench. He made 5-of-11 attempts from the 3-point line. Morales and Cooper each scored 12 points and Zach Lydon (Elizaville/Stissing Mountain) finished with 11 points. Morales led the team with six assists. Cooper finished 5-of-7 from the floor and had seven rebounds and three assists. Lydon added four rebounds, three assists and three blocks, and Carrel Joseph (Deer Park) shared the team lead with seven boards.
Henderson led Fisher with 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting, 4-of-5 from 3-point range. English ended with 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists, and Sammy Robinson totaled eight points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Cortland shot 14-of-37 (38 percent) from 3-point range. In addition to Bonura’s five treys, Lydon and Morales each hit three and Cooper made two. The Red Dragons finished at 44 percent from the field overall, but only 2-of-6 from the foul line. Fisher shot 49 percent from the field overall and 38 percent (9-of-24) from the arc.
Cortland begins SUNYAC play at home versus Oswego Saturday at 3 p.m.