The victory would come, but the contest was anyone’s game, knotted at 52, with just under six minutes remaining before Plattsburgh went on a 19-8 run to seal the victory.
Key contributions down the stretch for the Cardinals came from Brooke Reifinger, who nailed a pair of well-timed threes from deep in the corner and Tequilla Lloyd, who finished with 10 points, including a pair of field goals late in the game, in another strong all around performance.
Marshall and Kathleen Payne also played pivotal roles, calmly sinking several pressure-packed free throws down the stretch to help seal the deal for Plattsburgh.
Payne continued her early season struggles from the field, going 4-for-12 from the field, but still managed to finish with an impressive 16-point,14-rebound double-double, her first of the season.
“When a scorer is struggling to find their shot, the good ones will help you to win in other ways,” said Cole. “That’s what KP has done for us. The shot will come, but she’s playing great defense, been our top rebounder and one of the big reasons we’ve been successful to this point.”
For a third straight outing, Plattsburgh played outstanding team defense and rebounded the basketball extremely well. Buffalo State connected on just 23-of-65 of its field goal attempts (35 percent) for the game. The Plattsburgh defense also limited the Bengals leading scorer Bianca Smiley to just two field goals and five points. The Cardinals also outrebounded the Bengals, 54-42.
The only real bright spot for the visitors Saturday was the play of Ashley Wallace, who recorded a double-double of her own (12 points, 10 rebounds) to pace Buffalo State (3-4, 1-3).
“This was just a great way to finish our semester,” concluded Cole. “Our effort was just outstanding. We played with lots of energy and won most of the 50-50 balls.This was just a great team effort for us and a great way to go into the break.”