continued It worked, as the Purple Tigers did not make a single 3-pointer in the last two periods after getting six in the first half.
"The press helped us get the momentum going," said McKenney. "Defensively, we had very few breakdowns in the second half."
At the same time, J-D moved the ball around on the offensive side, too, giving Coleman room in the paint - and he took full advantage with 15 second-half points, everything from converted free throws to a pair of thunderous dunks in the final minutes.
"I had to take over," said Coleman.
But Coleman didn't have to work alone. Cavanaugh would finish with 16 points, while Casey Williams connected on a pair of 3-pointers off the bench and earning eight points overall. Cavanaugh and Pete Drescher sank five of six free throws in the final 14.1 seconds to keep Cortland from coming back.
In defeat, Babcock led a well-balanced Purple Tigers attack with 13 points. Reagan, never a big factor after getting into foul trouble early in the second half, had 12 points, as did Barlow, while Prior added nine points.
Though the Purple Tigers lost, it could look forward to the fact that J-D has to visit Cortland on Jan. 31, a rematch already full of high anticipation, given how close this first game was.