MARCY, NY - Tuesday night at 8pm February 19th, 2019, the SUNY Poly Wildcats Men's Basketball team will take on the Fighting Tigers of SUNY Cobleskill in a NEAC Quarterfinal matchup to determine who will advance to the NEAC Championship Tournament at Morrisville.
The last time these two teams met was on February 13th, where the Wildcats won 74-61. Josh Gregory (Whitesboro, N.Y.) and Redell Freeman (Rochester, N.Y.) led the team with 22 points each in the game. Senior Guard Peyton Griffiths (Milford, N.Y.) and Junior Forward Tyshaun Copper (Brooklyn, N.Y.) also each tacked on 14 points. The matchup between the Wildcats and the Fighting Tigers at the beginning of the season told a different story. The Wildcats lost a barn-burner in double overtime against the Fighting Tigers 67-63.
The hot shooting that the Wildcats have shown off in the last few weeks will be the key entering the NEAC Quarterfinal game. If the Wildcats can keep the hot streak going, look for them to make a run at the NEAC Championship.
These two teams split the regular season series 1-1. The Fighting Tigers have a record of 15-10 (10-6 NEAC) with notable wins over Lancaster Bible (#1 seed in South division), College of Saint Elizabeth, and Penn State Abington. Cobleskill is a team that is outscoring opponents on average about 5.5 points per game, with a +3 turnover margin and prides themselves on the defensive end of the court. The gritty Tigers team will try to stop the red hot Wildcats, who have won 9 of their last 10 games and their last seven home games. The Wildcats can credit their success to their hot shooting these past few games, averaging over 45% from the field and 41% from behind the arc in each of the last seven games.
The last time the Wildcats saw postseason play was last year when they earned a victory in the quarterfinal round over Keuka College 67-57. Poly then traveled down to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to play Morrisville State but lost in a closely-fought game 69-63 in the semi-final. This post season appearance will be the fourth consecutive for the Wildcats. The Fighting Tigers were last seen in the NEAC post-season back in 2015. The Tigers beat Lancaster Bible in the NEAC Championship game 49-46.
The rest of the playoff picture includes the Morrisville State Mustangs and the Lancaster Bible Chargers as the #1 seeds in the north and south division respectively. Each of the #1 seeds earn a first round bye. The south division quarterfinal will feature the #2 seeded Penn State Berks Nittany Lions and the St. Elizabeth Eagles. The winners of the quarterfinals will join Morrisville and Lancaster Bible in the NEAC Final Four, hosted by the NEAC Regular Season Champion Mustangs. The winner of the NEAC Championship Tournament this weekend will earn an AQ bid to the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament.