BUFFALO, N.Y. – Cortland outscored Buffalo State 26-0 over nearly a 13-minute stretch spanning the first and second halves and the Red Dragons cruised to an 81-55 victory in SUNYAC men’s basketball play. The victory is Cortland’s largest versus Buffalo State in 59 years – the Red Dragons defeated the Bengals by 29 points (85-56) in the opening game of the 1958-59 season.
Buffalo State (4-4, 1-3 SUNYAC) tied the game at 13-13 on a Sir.Quintin Campbell jumper with 11:55 left in the first half. However, Cortland (7-1, 4-0 SUNYAC) scored the final 24 points of the half. The run started with five straight points by Zach Lydon (Elizaville/Stissing Mountain) and five by Justin Cooper (Pine Plains/Stissing Mountain), followed by a Lydon layup and a Carrel Joseph (Deer Park) 3-pointer.
James Morales (Mount Kisco/Fox Lane) followed with a jumper at the 4:52 mark, DaVaughn Johnson (Harlem/Henry Street School) hit a pair of layups, and Nicky Bonura (Mount Kisco/Fox Lane) finished the first-half scoring on a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left to give Cortland a 37-13 lead.
Joseph made a layup less than a minute into the second half to finish the 26-point run. Mike Henry’s layup with 18:58 remaining ended the Bengals’ scoreless streak at 12 minutes, 57 seconds. Cortland led by at least 20 points, and by as many as 34 points, the rest of the contest.
Cooper and Lydon led Cortland with 19 points apiece. Cooper made 7-of-9 field goals (2-of-3 from the arc) and also led the Red Dragons with 13 rebounds and six assists. Lydon finished 8-of-11 from the floor, 3-of-5 from long distance, and blocked two shots.
Joseph scored 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting with two 3-pointers and also tallied four rebounds and three assists. Kenny Charles (Huntington) added eight points and Morales ended with six assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Henry paced Buffalo State with 14 points and four steals and Sheldon Adams tallied 12 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Cortland shot 55 percent from the field overall and 42 percent (10-of-24) from 3-point land. Buffalo State recovered after shooting just 14 percent (5-of-35) in the first half to connect on 39 percent of its second-half attempts and finished the game at 28 percent.
Cortland will play next Saturday at SUNY Old Westbury in a 2 p.m. non-league game before traveling to Florida for the Miami Holiday Slam tournament. The Red Dragons will face Southern Vermont Dec. 18 and Washington & Lee Dec. 20.