FREDONIA — A big road win for the Plattsburgh State women’s basketball team also came with a record-setting performance.
Plattsburgh was able to outlast Fredonia to get a 77-73 SUNY Athletic Conference victory Saturday, while senior Kathleen Payne broke the Cardinals’ career scoring record.
“(It was) a little bit (in my head); first couple of shots in the first half weren’t falling. I think I was forcing a couple things I usually wouldn’t of,” Payne said. “It kind of felt more of a relief because I knew I was close for awhile. Glad to get it over with, (but) it means a lot.”
At the one-minute mark of the first half, Brittany Marshall found Payne on a nice back-door cut, and Payne easily laid it in. With the made basket, Payne marked her 1,437th point and passed Aleshia LaValley as the programs all-time points leader.
“(Payne) finally was able to break that individual record, but bottom line for (Payne) it was that we got the win and that was the most important thing for her,” Cardinals coach Cheryl Cole said. “This is a team sport, and (Payne) believes in that. We were able to get that win, which makes it sweet for her and (able to) enjoy it.”
The Goshen native finished the afternoon with 19 points and a rebound shy of a double-double with nine, as well as three assists.
“It’s weird because when I got my 1,000th point, we were at Fredonia and we lost. (Saturday) it was better because I broke the record and we got the win,” Payne said.
Prior to the end of the half, Marshall cut off a Fredonia pass and quickly tossed up a shot near midcourt that swished through as the buzzer sounded. The made three extended the Cardinals’ lead to 34-28 as they headed into the locker room.
In the second half, the Cardinals (12-4, 7-2) missed a few shots down the stretch while Fredonia started getting hot behind the arc. The Blue Devil’s Alexis Cheatham and Jaimie Warren exploded offensively, going a combined 42 percent from the field and 47 percent from 3-point range.
“That part of the game we’re still struggling with,” Cole said. With a comfortable lead we need to manage the game instead of trying to get that dagger. Instead we turn it over and then they drill a three and they gain momentum, and all of a sudden we’re trying to do too much — that’s something we need to get better at.”
The fast-paced Fredonia squad only had two fast-break points, which limited their high-powered offense. And although Plattsburgh uncharacteristically struggled from the free throw line (55 percent), the Cardinals’ 49 rebounds — 15 offensive — helped extend its offensive possessions to milk the clock and maintain their lead.
“(Rebounding) was something we talked about,” Cole said. “Two things we needed to do were be better on the boards and slow them down in transition.”
“Credit Fredonia; they wouldn’t go away.”
However, the turning point may have been the strange sequence of events that took place with just over a minute left to play. It began when Misha Green got called for a flagrant foul after grabbing a defensive rebound and inadvertently hitting Warren with her elbow. Warren made both free throws, which cut the Cardinals’ lead to 72-68.
On the second made free throw, Warren marked her 1,000th point as a Blue Devil. An excited Fredonia (9-6, 4-5) bench rushed the court to embrace Warren and was called for excessive celebration, which in turn gave the Cardinals two crucial free throws. Marshall knocked down both and once again gave Plattsburgh a six-point advantage.
“Absolutely ridiculous; the refs were going to let it go, but after five minutes of deliberation it was a technical,” Cole said. “It was pretty impactful and a critical mistake on their part.”
Marshall ended the day with 19 points, along with seven rebounds and five assists. Stephanie Linder had one of her best games as a Cardinal, going 7-for-11 from the field and 3-for-5 from 3-point range. The Cadyville native finished with 17 points, three boards, three assists, one block and two steals off the bench.
“Steph Linder did great; we think she can be that kind of scorer,” Cole said. “She moved well off their zone and really made things happen. She’s a piece of the puzzle; we’re going to need her going forward.”
Warren and Cheatham led the Blue Devils with 26 and 20 points, respectively. Warren also added 15 rebounds, while Cheatham dished out seven assists, grabbed four boards and had one steal.
“A good team win was important,” Cole said. “Tough weekend. We could have been 2-0, but that’s not easy to do. The table is set up for us; we have six of the last eight conference games on our court, and we feel real good about that.”
Plattsburgh State 77, Fredonia 73
Plattsburgh State (77)
Marshall 5-4-19, Payne 9-1-19, Linder 7-0-17, Green 2-2-6, Paul 3-0-6, Reifinger 1-2-4, Miller 1-0-3, Dolan 1-0-2, Lloyd 0-1-1, Lewis 0-0-0. Totals: 29-10-77
Fredonia State (73)
Warren 7-10-26, Cheatham 8-0-20, Macaulay 4-4-12, LaForce 3-0-8, Halloran 3-1-7, Curry 0-0-0, Mikowicz 0-0-0, Patsellis 0-0-0, Devine 0-0-0. Totals: 25-15-73
Halftime: Plattsburgh State 34-28
3-point goals: Plattsburgh State (9) Marshall 5, Linder 3, Miller. Fredonia State (8) Warren 2, Cheatham 4, LaForce 2.