PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — Plattsburgh State scored 10 unanswered points to end the second half Saturday night, building a 15-point advantage that led to an 84-63 victory over Husson University in the first round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship.
Coach Warren Caruso’s Eagles, the North Atlantic Conference champions, finish the season at 20-9.
The Cardinals (20-8) of the State Universities of New York Athletic Conference advance to the second round and will take on top-seeded Amherst.
Plattsburgh State placed six players in double figures, spearheaded by 15 points from Ezra Hodgson. The hosts shot 55 percent from the floor and went 9-for-19 from 3-point range to offset 11-for-22 shooting from the foul line.
Jordan Moody scored 13 points, Chris Manning (7 rebounds, 7 assists) and Shamoy McIntosh (3 assists, 3 steals) tossed in 11 points each. Reggie Williams and Kalik Parker added 10 points each.
Plattsburgh State outrebounded the Eagles 39-35.
Senior Eric Modica of Kittery paced Husson of Bangor with 13 points, senior Marc Zaharchuk of Richmond registered 12 points and seven rebounds, and senior Wes Murphy contributed 11 points. Corey Wood added seven points and seven rebounds.
The Eagles shot 37 percent (17-for-26) from the field.
It was an uphill climb for Husson, which fell behind early. Even so, the Eagles trailed only 31-25 after Murphy’s 3-pointer with 4:40 to play in the first half.
However, the Cardinals owned the final 3:11. McIntosh opened the key run with a 3-pointer, then hit a jumper off a Husson turnover. Parker followed with another 3-pointer to give the hosts a 39-25 advantage.
Gary Tibbs’ layup with 1:09 left sent Plattsburgh into the locker room with a 16-point lead.
Husson later got within 10 early in the second half, but the Cardinals later used a 9-2 run to extend the margin to 16 and the Eagles could not make up the deficit.