Norwich (5-8) extended its advantage to 34-19 over the first five minutes of the second stanza and threatened to put the game away before Plattsburgh finally regrouped and began to battle back.
“It wasn’t looking good but, fortunately, we were able to stay together, weather the storm and in the end, steal a win,” Cole said. “We could have folded and we didn’t. That was a positive that came out of this game.”
The Cardinals second-half comeback was triggered by Payne, who seized the initiative, scoring 15 of her
game-high 18 points after the break. The sophomore standout also had a game-high 10 rebounds and a pair of blocks to complete an outstanding double-double performance for the Cardinals.
Plattsburgh’s lone lead of the game came at the 28-second mark after Payne’s 3-pointer capped the rally.
“K.P. just put us on her back and willed herself at the end,” Cole said. “It wasn’t pretty tonight but, with as poorly as we shot tonight, I am just happy to come out of this with a W. Sometimes, you have to win ugly and tonight we did that. Hopefully, now, we can put this behind us, learn from this game and play much better this weekend. We’ll need to play a lot better if we plan on being successful as we move forward but, I am confident that, with this group, we can get that done.”
The Cardinals’ defense played a key role in Tuesday’s come-from-behind win, limiting the Cadets to just six-of-34 shooting (17.6%) in the second half and just 15-of-59 (25.4%) for the game.
Plattsburgh (7-3, 3-1 SUNYAC) will resume conference play this weekend at Genseo on Friday night followed by a matchup at Brockport on Saturday afternoon.
Plattsburgh State 51,
Norwich University 47
Brown 2-2-7, Sweeney 2-1-6, Clark 0-2-2, Curray 2-2-7, Brammer 5-0-10, Curler 1-1-3, Butler 1-0-2, Lotti 1-3-5, Blankenship 0-0-0, Steiner 1-3-5, Laidlaw 0-0-0. Totals: 15-14-47.
Plattsburgh State (51)
Marshall 2-0-4, Green 1-4-6, Reifinger 0-2-2, Paul 3-1-7, Payne 8-1-18, Halstead 1-2-4, Lloyd 0-0-0, Cassidy 1-0-3, Nucaro 2-0-4, Adedapo 0-1-1, Coryea 0-0-0, Lewis 1-0-2. Totals: 19-11-51.
3-point goals: Norwich (3) Brown, Sweeney, Curry . Plattsburgh State (2) Payne, Cassidy.
Halftime: Norwich, 26-19.