January 22, 2013

Cardinal women focus on new course


---- — POTSDAM — Plattsburgh State’s women’s basketball team will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak tonight at SUNY Potsdam.

The Cardinals (8-7, 4-4 SUNYAC), who got off to one of their best starts in program history the first semester, have struggled of late, dropping four of their last five games, including a pair of conference games at home last weekend. Plattsburgh will be looking to reverse its fortunes tonight in Potsdam in the first game of a critical five-game SUNYAC road trip.

“We’re coming off a rough weekend,” said Plattsburgh head coach Cheryl Cole. “We dropped a tough overtime game to New Paltz on Friday night and then came out flat against Oneonta on Saturday.

“There’s nothing we can do about that now, but what we can do something about is, what’s still in front of us. It’s still early in our season and right now, we’re focused on righting the ship and getting back to playing the kind of basketball we know we are capable of playing. That all starts with Potsdam.”

Plattsburgh may be struggling, but it might be a little premature to read too much doom and gloom into that string of games, especially considering the competition.The four recent setbacks came at the hands of three of the best teams in the conference in New Paltz, Geneseo and Oneonta as well as Division III national power Williams College out of the NESCAC.

“There is no reason to panic, we’ll be alright,” said Cole. “What we will need to do right now is put last weekend behind us, focus on getting back to doing what we do well and that’s playing aggressive defense and rebounding the basketball. If we get back to playing our game, our style of basketball, the rest should take care of itself and we should bounce right back.”

Tonight, the Cardinals face a Potsdam team that has yet to win a conferernce game. That said, there are no easy games in the conference and no easy matchups, particulaly on the road.

“Potsdam has not won a conference game and is not the most talented team out there. But, one thing that is for sure, they play hard and play well at home,” said Cole.

“They really have nothing to lose, so that makes them a very dangerous team. I’m sure they are approaching this as a very winnable game and It would be a mistake to look at their record and underestimate them. Every year, they come out and beat someone they really shouldn’t and we certainly don’t want it to be us, this time around. We just need to be prepared to play a good, hard 40 minutes of basketball, get the W and hopefully build some momentum as we move forward.”

Plattsburgh continues to be led by Kathleen Payne (14.3 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game), Brittany Marshall (12.3 ppg, 27 threes), Tequilla Lloyd (7.6 ppg) and Brooke Reifinger (7.1 ppg, 21 threes).

Potsdam (1-14, 0-8 SUNYAC) is led by Katy Briedis (13.1 ppg), Jessica Kouzan (8.9 ppg) and Bailey Weigal (6.3 rpg).

Tim Pulsifer