PLATTSBURGH Plattsburgh State and Oneonta were both lighting up the scoreboard Friday.
The Cardinals (13-4, 8-2), however, ended up shooting slightly better in the end and took the 80-75 victory over the Red Dragons (13-5, 7-4) in SUNY Athletic Conference women’s basketball play.
“I definitely didn’t think it would be high scoring; when it got rolling in the second half I didn’t anticipate that,” Plattsburgh State coach Cheryl Cole said. “That was a tremendous shootout great defense being played, but better offense being executed.”
Tied at 71 with just three minutes remaining in the game, Cole called a timeout after the Cardinals were struggling to set anything up on offense. Out of the timeout Brittany Marshall took the ball out on the sideline, where she quickly found Kathleen Payne coming off a screen. Payne immediately turned and, with a hand in her face, drained the 3-pointer to give Plattsburgh back the lead.
That was just one of the many highlight plays made by Payne, who finished with a career-high 35 points two points shy of breaking the Plattsburgh State women’s single game scoring record just one week after she broke the all-time points record.
“(Friday) I think I was in my own zone; I felt good about everything and I just had the game come to me more,” Payne said. “To be recognized for breaking the scoring record, then breaking that record while at home would have been pretty cool.”
Payne shot 11-for-21 from the field, 4-for-6 from three and a perfect 9-for-9 from the foul line, while also pulling down eight rebounds, dishing out two assists and making four blocks.
“KP took this game over; talk about filling a stat line, she was doing everything she could possibly do,” Cole said. “The degree of difficulty on her shots ... she was feeling it. She had one of those special nights when you just feel it – hopefully she’ll have a couple more of those.”
Ironically, Plattsburgh came out a little flat against the Red Dragons as it took five minutes into the game to finally get onto the scoreboard.
“We just worked for three days on what we wanted to do offensively and for whatever reason we came out a little timid trying to be too perfect,” Cole said.
Cole called a timeout to try and regroup her team, which evidently worked to perfection because Payne and the rest of the Cardinals came out firing. Payne hit a three out of the timeout and the Plattsburgh offense kept rolling.
The Cardinals ended the half with a 41-34 lead.
“We were just stagnant," Payne said. "Coach told us to relax; we just needed to settle down and play our game.”
However the beginning of the second half was much like the beginning of the first. The Cardinals had trouble gaining momentum on offense, and it allowed Oneonta to climb back from its deficit.
“(It) just felt like when we’d make a basket, they hit a three at some point we just needed to get that defensive stop and then go down and score on the other end,” Payne said.
Aleshia Crawford was deadly for the Red Dragons as she finished with 26 points, including 6-for-13 from behind the arc and 7-for-20 from the field.
With just under a minute remaining, Marshall brought the ball up the court and took her man one-on-one. As she drove to the basket she abruptly stopped for a step-back jumper which swished through. The made basket extended Plattsburgh’s lead to 76-72.
With Marshall’s made basket and clutch free throws made by Brooke Reifinger and Devona Paul, it solidified the victory for the Cardinals.
“Britt made some gutsy plays at the end,” Cole said. “Dev hit free throws, Misha Green made probably the biggest offensive rebound at the end of the game and Brooke played tremendous defense just a great team win.”
Marshall ended the game with 14 points, three rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Paul finished with 16 points and six rebounds.
“It was absolutely exhausting game; neither team could be stopped," Cole said. "It was a huge offensive game and well played game.”
With the victory, Plattsburgh has the series sweep of Oneonta, which could mean a lot when it comes down to playoff seeding.
“To beat them at home is one thing, but to sweep them is huge, we usually meet them in the playoffs," Payne said. "It’s a huge confidence boost to know we can beat them home and away."
“This game gives us separation from Oneonta, so it’s huge when it comes down to it in the end,” Cole added.
Plattsburgh is back in action today against New Paltz; tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Memorial Hall.
Plattsburgh State 80, Oneonta 75
Crawford 7-6-26, Price 1-0-2, Schilling 5-9-19, Loomis 3-1-7, Longto 4-2-10, Murray 0-0-0, Spector 0-0-0, Adams 1-0-2, Mulligan 1-1-3, DiPasquale 3-0-6, Ponesse 0-0-0, Cariseo 0-0-0. Totals: 25-19-75
Plattsburgh State (80)
Marshall 5-2-14, Green 0-1-1, Reifinger 2-3-7, Paul 6-4-16, Payne 11-9-35, Linder 3-0-7, Miller 0-0-0, Lewis 0-0-0. Totals: 27-19-80
Halftime: Plattsburgh State, 41-34
3-point goals: Oneonta (6) Crawford 6. Plattsburgh State (7) Marshall 2, Payne 4, Linder.