Cortland men’s basketball starts off January play with victory over Oneonta

Nicky Bonura hit three of his four 3-pointers late in the first half to help Cortland take a 44-32 halftime lead (Darl Zehr Photography)

Box Score

ONEONTA, N.Y. – James Morales (Mount Kisco/Fox Lane) scored 27 points to lead five double-figure scorers as Cortland led from start to finish in an 87-70 SUNYAC men’s basketball victory at Oneonta.

Cortland upped its record to 10-2 overall and remained perfect in league play with a 5-0 mark. Oneonta is now 6-5 overall and 2-3 in the conference.

Morales connected on 10 of his 13 field goal attempts, including 4-of-6 from the 3-point line, and hit all three of his free throws. He also led Cortland with five assists and three steals. Morales scored 17 of his 27 points in the second half to help the Red Dragons hold off a handful of Oneonta rallies.

Justin Cooper (Pine Plains/Stissing Mountain) finished with 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. He finished 5-of-9 from the floor and 3-of-3 from the line. Nicky Bonura (Mount Kisco/Fox Lane) made four 3-pointers in a 12-point effort.

Carrel Joseph (Deer Park) and Zach Lydon (Elizaville/Stissing Mountain) each added 10 points. Joseph made two treys and both of his free throws and grabbed four rebounds, while Lydon was 3-for-3 from the foul line and pulled down three boards. Ryan Schmadel (Oriskany) nearly reached double figures as well with nine points on three first-half 3-pointers.

Carson Jacobs scored 20 points of the bench on 10-of-13 shooting to lead Oneonta. Kevin Mackin added nine points, Matthew Boyd ended with eight points, four rebounds and three assists, and Ian Schultz led the team with five rebounds and shared the team lead with three assists.

Cortland led by as many as 14 points in the first half at 32-18 with under eight minutes left, but Oneonta got back to within 35-30 on an Andres Rivera 3-point play with 3:20 left. Bonura, however, hit three 3-pointers over the final three minutes to help the guests take a 44-32 halftime lead.

The second half followed a similar pattern. Cortland briefly led by 15 at 49-34 on a Joseph 3-pointer, but Oneonta mounted a 9-0 run, capped by a Boyd trey, to close within 49-43 with 15 minutes left. A few minutes later, Cortland’s lead was back to 13 after a Morales 3-pointer and a Joseph layup, but again Oneonta quickly cut the margin back to six on Mackin’s 3-pointer with nine minutes remaining.

The hosts still trailed by only six with less than five minutes at 69-63 on a Jacobs layup, but Cortland scored the next seven points on two Morales free throws, a Morales layup, and a Bonura 3-pointer, and led 76-63 with 3:34 left. The lead remained in double figures the rest of the way.

Cortland shot 16-of-30 (53 percent) from 3-point range and finished at just under 53 percent from the field overall (30-of-57). The Red Dragons were also 11-for-11 from the foul line – the second time this season Cortland has been perfect from the line with at least 10 attempts. Oneonta shot 46 percent overall and 35 percent (7-of-20) from long range, and was only 5-of-11 from the foul line.

Cortland will play at New Paltz Saturday at 3 p.m.