PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh State showed its potential Sunday.
The Cardinals knocked off previously unbeaten and nationally ranked Lebanon Valley 73-61 to win the Hampton Inn/Microtel Cardinal Classic Tournament and extend their winning streak to three games.
“I think everyone played to their full potential,” Plattsburgh’s Brittany Marshall said. “It really came down to hard work, effort and heart and we showed a lot of that.”
It was the Cardinals high-pressure, full-court press and up-tempo transition offense that proved to be too much for the Dutchmen (4-1), ranked 20th in Div. III women’s basketball.
Plattsburgh was able to get 11 steals in the game and cause 26 Lebanon Valley turnovers.
“We can make a lot of things happen with our athleticism, quickness and explosiveness,” Cardinals’ coach Cheryl Cole said.
Kathleen Payne led all scorers with 28 points, to go along with nine rebounds, three assists and three steals.
However, it was Marshall’s 16 first-half points that allowed Plattsburgh to keep the lead for most of the first 20 minutes. But turnovers over the last two minutes allowed the Dutchmen to take a 37-36 lead into halftime.
“We didn’t execute (in the first half), we lost our composure a little bit, but we talked about it at halftime,” Cole said. “That’s a learning curve, getting beyond that will help us so much going forward.”
Lebanon Valley had the momentum at the end of the first, but Plattsburgh came out strong to start the second half, enabling the Cardinals to pull away to the victory.
“(Cole) told us that they were going to make a run, they’re a good team,” Payne said. “We played smarter (in the second half) and brought more energy than they did.”
Marshall made the all-tournament team while Payne was named the tournament MVP. Cole credited their veteran leadership as key to the huge victory Sunday.