GENESEO — Junior forward Kathleen Payne had a game-high 25 points, but the Plattsburgh State women’s basketball team suffered from some untimely offensive outages in a 77-68 loss to Geneseo Friday.
The Knights (8-3, 4-1) made good on just over 50 percent of their field goal attempts, while the Cardinals (7-4, 3-2) were held to 41.7 percent from the field.
The Knights opened on a 9-0 run to take control of the first half. Four different players tallied points during the spurt where the Cardinals went 0-for-4 from the field and committed one of their eight first-half turnovers.
Looking at an 18-12 deficit, head coach Cheryl Cole summoned Kathleen Payne from the bench, and the junior was more than up to the task of chipping away at Geneseo’s lead.
Payne put in four consecutive points to pull the Cardinals within two and Marshall added a fast break layup after a free throw make by the Knights to make it a 19-18 game with 6:48 left in the first half, but Geneseo withstood the short flurry and came back with one of their own.
“(Payne) played hard,” Cole said. “She has been one of our best two players this season. She goes to the rim and is capable of having that kind of game. She was guarding one of their best players and did well.”
Cara Manfredi single-handedly brought the momentum back to the Knights’ bench, pouring in all eight points during an 8-2 spurt that put the Cardinals down 27-20 with 4:20 to go in the stanza. Manfredi’s run was just a part of a larger 19-7 Geneseo surge that spanned the final 6:48 of the first half, sending the Cardinals to the break in a 38-25 hole.
“Unfortunately, we had a lull in the first half, which allowed them to build a healthy lead,” Cole said. “It was a mental breakdown and we need to be more disciplined. They’re definitely capable of being the best team in our conference.