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January 24, 2014

Cardinals ready for 'high-paced weekend' at Buffalo State, Fredonia

Plattsburgh State, arguably the most conditioned team in the SUNY Athletic Conference, will need everything it has in the tank this weekend as it goes one one of its longest road trips of the season.

The Cardinals face Buffalo State (11-3, 6-1 SUNYAC) tonight and Fredonia (8-5, 3-4) Saturday in women’s basketball.

“It’s going to be a very high-paced weekend,” Plattsburgh coach Cheryl Cole said. “Both teams are one of the toughest to play in the conference.”

The three teams have the top scoring offenses in SUNYAC, as the Blue Devils lead the conference with 70.8 points a game, while the Cardinals (11-3, 6-1), and Bengals are tied for second, averaging 69.4 points a contest.

Buffalo State is led by senior Staci McElroy, who didn’t suit up for the Bengals last year but decided to return this season. The 5-foot-9-inch guard leads her team with 13.7 points per game on 43 percent shooting from the field while also averaging 6.3 rebounds a contest.

“(McElroy) is a smooth kid who moves real well off the ball and is tenacious around the basket,” Cole said. “Her coming back makes them very potent.”

Bianca Smiley is second in scoring for Buffalo State behind McElroy with 11.5 points per game while also hauling in almost nine boards a contest.

“Buffalo State has the best post player in the conference in my opinion (in Smiley),” Cole said. “She’s really smooth; really smart. She’s going to be a handful.”

The Bengals’ roster is much like Plattsburgh’s — filled with veteran leadership, quickness and athleticism. Both teams also like to add pressure with a full-court press and a run-and-gun offense.

“Here’s a team that is just as quick and athletic as we are,” Cole said. “They’re very well rounded; they’re style is to press and get out and run.”

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