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College Sports

January 9, 2013

Payne, Cardinals rally past Norwich

PLATTSBURGH — It was anything but pretty but, in the end, Plattsburgh State did just enough to score a 51-47 come-from-behind victory over Norwich University in women’s non-conference basketball action at Memorial Hall Tuesday.

The Cardinals, who struggled on offense all night long and trailed, essentially, from start-to-finish, mustered just enough offense down the stretch to pull out a hard-fought, come-from-behind victory.

Trailing 46-38, with just under five minutes remaining, Plattsburgh put together a game-deciding 13-1 run, capped by a long 3-point field goal by Kathleen Payne from deep in the corner. A defensive stop and a pair of clutch free throws by Brooke Reifinger inside the final minute of play sealed the win.

Cardinals coach Cheryl Cole was happy to come away with the victory but was anything but pleased with her team’s offensive performance on a night when the Plattsburgh converted on just 19-of-77 attempts (24.7%) and two-of-17 (11.8%) from beyond the arc, for the game.

“(Norwich) put in a good game plan against us, packing their defense inside but, make no mistake about it, this was on us,” Cole said. “For some reason, we just got off to a real bad start, started getting real casual with the ball, played with no sense of urgency, kept missing shots and struggled, really, all night long.”

Both teams sputtered in the early going as the game remained scoreless for nearly five full minutes before the Cadets went on a 6-0 run to distance themselves from the Cards. Norwich, led by Christine Brammer’s eight first-half points, would extend the lead to 26-19 by the break. Bremmer would finish with a team-high 10 points and eight rebounds to pace the Cadets.

“We were actually fortunate to be down just seven at the half,” Cole said. “That’s how bad things were in the first half for us but, fortunately, our defense was playing pretty well and truthfully they weren’t shooting the ball all that much better. Those two things really kept us in the game early or else it could’ve been a lot worse.”

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