BRUNSWICK, Maine — Plattsburgh State continues to rewrite school history.
The resilient Cardinals came out with a 67-56 victory against Roger Williams University in the first round of the Division III NCAA Tournament in women’s basketball play.
“(This is) the biggest win ever in program history. I couldn’t be more proud,” Plattsburgh coach Cheryl Cole said. “We survived (Friday), and we scrapped it out.”
It was the Cardinals first NCAA game in their program’s history and the inexperience showed early. Plattsburgh made a few uncharacteristic turnovers and Cole also admitted that the media timeouts, which came roughly every four minutes, played a role in dismantling the Cardinals’ flow of the game.
“We weren’t familiar with the pauses of the media timeouts and it hurt us because we never managed that before. It was different and it took our energy away; I’m hoping we manage that better (today),” Cole said. “I think there were a lot of nerves. I think we were playing good D, which has kept us in games all season, but we weren’t ourselves.”
The 11-point advantage of the final score is slightly misleading. Most of the second half was a back-and-forth battle, as there were five different lead changes.
With just over nine minutes remaining in the contest, the Hawks Kaitlin Bovee knocked down two free throws to give Roger Williams a 49-47 lead, which was the first time it pulled ahead since early in the first half.
With 2:25 left, the Cardinals Stephanie Linder sank 1-of-2 from the foul line to once again give Plattsburgh the lead at 56-55. The Cardinals then went on a 6-0 run to pull away from the Hawks, as Tequilla Lloyd was twice the beneficiary of a 2-on-1 transition basket facilitated by Brittany Marshall.
Marshall, who was named first team All-SUNYAC, did not practice all week due to a sore ankle she injured during Plattsburgh’s conference championship game.