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December 2, 2012

Cardinals beat Dragons on road for first time

CORTLAND — To say Plattsburgh State’s women’s basketball team hasn’t had much success playing at Cortland over the years might just be a bit of an understatement.

In fact, in their program’s history, the Cardinals had never claimed a victory over the Red Dragons at Corey Gymnasium.

That all changed however, as Plattsburgh played inspired basketball, jumped out on top early and then held on to claim a dramatic 59-57 win over Cortland Saturday afternoon.

“This was just an awesome effort,” Plattsburgh State coach Cheryl Cole said. “We really needed this. It got a little hairy at the end, but this team just kept digging down deep and battling. I couldn’t be any prouder. This was just a great team effort and a huge win over a very good Cortland team.”

Less than 24 hours after falling 56-48 at Oswego, the Cardinals put together a gritty, potentially-season defining performance against one of the conference’s elite teams.

Showing no signs of tired legs or hangover from Friday night’s contest, Plattsburgh opened the game with a 9-5 run, connecting on its first four field-goal attempts from the field and extended its advantage to 31-22 by the break.

The Cardinals were forced to stave off numerous runs by the Red Dragons after halftime but in the end refused to let the game get away.

Plattsburgh appeared to be in control, extending its advantage to 11 points at 57-46 with just 2:41 to play when Cortland staged one last run. The Red Dragons whittled away at the deficit but came up just short when Brittany Rando’s 3-point try rattled off the rim at the buzzer.

“It was nerve-wracking,” Cole said. “I thought we were in good shape, but we just kept missing the front ends of our one-and-ones, allowing them to cut into the lead. In the end, though, we were able to gut it out and survive. It wasn’t easy, but in our conference, you have to find a way in games like this, especially on the road. And today we did that.”

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