GENESEO — Plattsburgh State showed its depth during a tremendous road victory that set a new program record.
“We tied the most team wins in school history,” Cardinals coach Cheryl Cole said. “As a team we’re really re-writing the record books.”
However on the way to its win, Plattsburgh (16-4,11-2 SUNYAC) had to overcome an early 13-point deficit against a very talented Knights team.
“It wasn’t working that well for us early,” Cole said. “They basically did what they wanted to do.”
Kathleen Payne and Brittany Marshall — the Cardinals top-two players — didn’t score a single point in the first half, but in their absence Plattsburgh’s bench stepped up and gave an incredible performance to catapult the team to an 81-67 victory against Geneseo (13-6, 7-5) in women’s basketball play.
“I wouldn’t have guessed this would be the outcome of the game,” Cole said. “I know Britt and KP were really proud of how their teammates stepped up.”
Stephanie Linder, Tequilla Lloyd, Jax Miller and Ayomide Adedapo provided excellent minutes off the bench, while Brooke Reifinger and Misha Green provided much needed offense during that first-half stretch.
At the buzzer, Reifinger was able to get off a three, which cut the lead to two heading into halftime. The made 3-pointer energized Plattsburgh heading into the second half.
“Brooke played a great first half, but our bench came in and just played exceptional defense,” Cole said. “I was really happy with how we responded.”
The Cardinals shot an astounding 55.6 percent from the floor in the second half and sank 12-of-24 from behind the arc on the night. They finished with 15 assists and created 20 Knight turnovers.
“They looked shell-shocked in the second half,” Cole said. “We were shooting the ball well and we were sharing the ball well; this team played solid half-court defense.”
Payne led Plattsburgh with 22 points — all of which came in the second half — in 22 minutes of play. The Goshen native finished the night going 7-for-13 from the floor, including 4-for-6 from behind the arc, while also pulling down six boards.
“KP got into foul trouble early … not really smart fouls, but she regrouped after sitting on the bench and was ready to go,” Cole said. “She came in and they couldn’t stop her; she was in the zone in the second half. She put on a show.”
Green had a productive day, hitting 5-of-13 from the floor, which was good for 14 points, along with five rebounds and three steals.
Reifinger, normally known for her terrific perimeter defense, was hot from the floor, going a perfect 5-for-5 from the field, including 3-for-3 from 3-point range. The Oswego product ended the day with 13 points and three rebounds.
“I mean we’ve done our work, with a 2-0 SUNYAC weekend, it’s outstanding,” Cole said. “Really controlling our own destiny, really taking care of business. It sets us up to finish strongly.
“To be able to win on the road is a testament to our mental toughness. Winning at Geneseo is difficult to do, but wow what a tremendous statement and I think we made a statement across the conference as well.”
Plattsburgh State 81, Geneseo 67
Plattsburgh State (81)
Paul 2-8-12, Payne 7-4-22, Marshall 2-0-5, Green 5-3-14, Reifinger 5-0-13, Lloyd 1-0-2, Adedapo 0-2-2, Linder 3-0-8, Miller 1-0-3. Totals: 26-17-81
McGinnis 2-3-8, Ryan 7-5-22, McKenna 4-5-13, Reinhardt 1-1-3, Cohan 4-0-9, Durand 0-1-1, Peterson 4-0-9, Cavanaugh 0-0-0, Phillips 0-0-0, Viennaeu 1-0-2. Totals: 22-15-67
Halftime: Geneseo, 34-32
3-point goals: Plattsburgh State (12) Payne 4, Marshall, Green, Reifinger 3, Linder 2, Miller. Geneseo (6) McGinnis, Ryan 3, Cohan, Peterson