March 9, 2014

Castleton ends Cards' NCAA run in OT

BRUNSWICK, Maine — The Plattsburgh State women’s basketball team’s historic season came to an end Saturday.

“That’s the cruelty of March Madness, when it ends, it ends so abruptly for our season and for our seniors,” Cardinals coach Cheryl Cole said. “It hurts, but we’ll take a few days and be proud of what we did this year.”

After 45 minutes of action Plattsburgh State was unable to overcome a Castleton State College rally and fell in overtime, 76-70, in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament in women’s basketball play.

The Cardinals got off to a terrific start and went into halftime with a 38-20 advantage as they hindered the Spartans’ shooting percentage to 25.8 percent from the field and 20 percent (2-for-10) from 3-point range.

“We played so much better (Saturday) than (Friday), we played loose and we got off to a great start,” Cole said.

However, in the second half, Castleton dismantled Plattsburgh’s 20-point lead by connecting on a variety of long-range bank shots.

“At halftime I said they were going to make a run; they’re a good team … I didn’t think they’d make as many shots off the glass as they did. I mean they made some crazy shots,” Cole said.

With 8:39 left in the game, Jade Desroches sank one of her four threes, which tied the game for the Spartans for the first time since the opening minutes  They pushed their lead as large as eight with 3:33 to go.

But with a minute remaining, the Cardinals Stephanie Linder collected a huge offensive rebound, which she kicked out to teammate Brittany Marshall. Marshall took a second to think about the shot, but eventually lofted up a three that banked in with 47 seconds left which propelled the game into overtime.

“(They started) making some shots and it rattled us of what we (were doing) well. We stopped running, and we were pressing, trying to do too much,” Cole said. “But we were finally able to fight through that and we showed a lot of guts and heart to give ourselves a chance.”

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