“They were disruptive on defense throughout. We turned the ball over nine times in the first half as compared to three times in the second half.”
Instead of mounting a rally early on in the deciding frame, the Cardinals saw their deficit increase to 18 in the first 2:48 after a 5-0 push by the Knights. Fortunately, Payne and the rest of the Cardinals were undaunted by numbers on the scoreboard.
Taking matters into her own hands, Payne tallied 11 of the first 14 points for the Cardinals and led her squad back to within 11 with 12:29 left in the tilt. With the majority of the damage in that stretch done on the interior part of the court, the Cardinals took up residence from beyond the arc to slice further into the Geneseo lead.
Jumpers from Yazmin Lewis and Marshall brought Plattsburgh within seven (59-52), and after another short jumper from the Knights, Misha Green came up with a fast break layup off of a steal before swishing her free throw attempt to make it a 61-55 Geneseo lead with 5:20 to go.
Two quick baskets by the Knights made it a 10 point lead again with 4:02 to go, and the home team went on to ice things thanks to timely field goal makes coupled with effective free throw shooting down the stretch to emerge victorious.
McKenna was one of four Knights in double figures, netting a team-high 20 points. Katie Peterson added 12 while McGinnis and Menfredi chipped in 11 and 10, respectively. Melissa Graham had game-highs in steals (five) and assists (six).
The Knights held a 34-32 rebounding advantage and the Cardinals had one less turnover (12) than their SUNYAC counterpart (13).
“I’m not disappointed in our effort,” Cole said. “It’s tough to play on the road, but we battled. We get them at home later in the semester and we’ll be ready.”
The Cardinals will look to bounce back on Saturday afternoon as they head for Brockport to take on the Golden Eagles. The SUNYAC bout is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
Geneseo 77, Plattsburgh State 68
Plattsburgh State (68)
Payne 9-5-25, Marshall 5-2-14, Nucaro 2-2-7, Lloyd 3-0-6, Reifinger 2-0-6, Green 2-1-5, Cassidy 1-0-3, Lewis 1-0-2, Paul 0-0-0. Totals: 25-10-68.
McKenna 6-7-20, Peterson 6-0-12, McGinnis 4-2-11, Manfredi 4-1-10, Cohan 3-1-9, Graham 4-0-9, Reinhardt 1-0-2, Hill 0-2-2, Heiselman 0-1-1, Lewis 0-1-1. Totals: 28-15-77.
Halftime: Geneseo, 38-25.
3-point goals: Plattsburgh (8): Marshall 2, Reifinger 2, Cassidy, Nucaro, Payne 2. Geneseo (6): McGinnis, McKenna, Graham, Manfredi, Cohan 2.