Cortland men’s basketball closes non-league schedule at Cabrini

Justin Cooper led Cortland in points, rebounds, and assists (Darl Zehr Photography)

RADNOR, PA. – Justin Cooper (Pine Plains/Stissing Mountain) recorded 21 points, 13 rebounds and four assists and was one of four Red Dragon double-figure scorers as Cortland closed out the non-league portion of its schedule with a 92-86 win at Cabrini University.

Cortland won its seventh straight game and improved to 9-2 overall, including a 9-1 mark versus Division III opponents. Cabrini, an NCAA second-round team last winter, dropped to 2-11 with the loss.

Ryan Schmadel (Oriskany) finished with 19 points, one shy of his career high, and added four rebounds and three assists. Nicky Bonura (Mount Kisco/Fox Lane) made four 3-pointers and ended with 17 points and three assists and Zach Lydon (Elizaville/Stissing Mountain) scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Ben Walters (Lockport/Starpoint) made all three of his 3-point attempts and finished with nine points.

Voshon Mack led Cabrini with 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the floor. Anthony Wright-Downing posted 22 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and three assists. Ivan Robinson and Trey Smith scored 11 points each and Aismith Saintilus added 10 points. Smith led the Cavaliers with four assists.

Cortland shot 48 percent from the floor, including 45 percent (13-of-29) from 3-point range, and was 23-of-25 (92 percent) from the foul line, including 20-of-21 in the second half. The Red Dragons entered the game ranked first nationally in Division III in free throw percentage (82.2 percent) and 11th nationally with 11.7 made 3-pointers per contest. Schmadel was 9-of-10 from the foul line, Cooper went 7-for-8 and Lydon was 6-for-6.

Cabrini finished at 45 percent from the field overall and 29 percent (8-for-28) from the arc.

Cortland never trailed, but wasn’t able to put away the Cavaliers until the final minute. The Red Dragons jumped out to a 25-10 lead about nine minutes into the game and led 51-39 at halftime. Cabrini cut its deficit to five at 60-55 with 13:49 remaining, but Cortland slowly built the lead back to 12 at 83-71 on two Schmadel free throws with 5:26 left.

The hosts went on a 12-4 run over the next four minutes and were within four at 87-83 on Wright-Downing’s layup with 1:45 left. The Cavaliers missed shots on their next two trips down the floor in an attempt to make it a one-possession game.

Cooper hit one free throw with less than 40 seconds left and Lydon made a pair with less than 30 seconds on the clock to push the lead to seven. Saintilus’ 3-pointer with 18 seconds remaining cut Cortland’s lead back to four, but Cooper was fouled after fielding a long inbounds pass and hit two free throws with 17 seconds left, and Cabrini missed a 3-pointer on its final possession.

Cortland will play at Oneonta in a SUNYAC matchup Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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