CANTON — Prior to the beginning of the 2012-13 season, Plattsburgh State women’s basketball coach Cheryl Cole likened freshman post player Devona Paul to the Energizer Bunny, lauding her tireless work ethic and her ability to get better and better with each passing day.
In Tuesday’s non-conference tilt with St. Lawrence, Paul put truth behind those words by going. And going. And going.
Paul recorded her first collegiate double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds while Kathleen Payne scored a game-high 19 points to help the Cardinals to a lopsided 71-49 victory over the Saints at Burkman Gymnasium.
“We were really happy with what Devona had done in the past two games coming off the bench,” Cole said. “Tonight was more of the same from her. She’s relentless on the boards and put in a ton of effort out there and as a result she had a great game.”
Despite what the lopsided final score indicated, the Cardinals had to play catch-up for the majority of the first half. The Saints, who are the favorite to come out on top in the Liberty League this season, jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead just 1:11 into the contest after a long ball from Kara McDuffee and a mid-range jumper off the hand of Cassie St. Hilaire.
“We knew they could shoot threes,” Cole said. “We needed to take those shots away and also be prepared to slide into the lane to stop the drives to the basket.”
Brittany Marshall registered the first Plattsburgh State points of the game, canning a triple off an assist from Payne before Paul banked home a layup thanks to an assist from Catherine Cassidy.
“Payne went 1-for-12 in the first half,” Cole said. “We needed her to step up and she really did in the second going 6-for-7.”