November 20, 2013

Plattsburgh State women capture first win in home opener

PLATTSBURGH — It’s good to be home.

After an 0-2 start to its season, Plattsburgh State won its home opener Tuesday, 88-59, against nonconference opponent St. Lawrence.

“We definitely shoot better at home,” Plattsburgh’s Kathleen Payne said. “We wanted to take the lead and really run them out of the gym.”

Run they did.

The Cardinals racked up 10 fast-break points in the game, while also forcing St. Lawrence into 23 turnovers and early foul trouble.

“We are better conditioned then them and that showed,” Payne said. “We could just tell by their body language they were tired.”

In the first half, the Saints’ Kara McDuffee was 3-for-3 from behind the arc, while 6 foot, 2 inch Kelly Legg knocked down 2-of-4 from three. McDuffee and Legg finished with 12 and 14 points, receptively, for St. Lawrence.

Despite the Saints hot hand from distance, Plattsburgh still managed to keep the game close.

With 30 seconds remaining in the half, Brittany Marshall was able get a steal and facilitate a quick transition pass down the court to Stephanie Linder, who made a nice feed inside to Payne to tie the game at 36.

“Bottom line we needed to be more solid defensively,” Cardinals coach Cheryl Cole said. “First half we were getting really good looks, but we were giving them too much room from three.”

The Cardinals made the adjustments defensively in the second half and contested every Saint 3-point shot. Nearly each miss from St. Lawrence led to a defensive rebound, which kicked out into a quick transition basket.

“We wanted to come out hard and make them put (the ball) on the floor,” Cole said. “We got their big kid (Legg) in trouble early — she picked up her fourth foul two minutes into the second half — that was huge, there was no way they were going to slow us down.”

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