PLATTSBURGH — It’s always important to win on your home floor.
For the Cardinals, they remain undefeated at home and get a crucial win against a worthy conference opponent as they defeated Geneseo Friday night, 62-51.
Plattsburgh was able to utilize its up-tempo style and aggressive full-court press to force 29 Knight turnovers.
“We definitely went into halftime knowing they were gassed,” Cardinals forward Kathleen Payne said. “The second half was going in our favor when we were pressing them — they couldn’t handle it.”
Plattsburgh came out a little flat offensively against Geneseo’s zone defense, but after Cardinals’ coach Cheryl Cole called a timeout early, the offense began to click.
“We were being too stagnant against their zone,” Payne said. “In the timeout coach told us to move around more and make cuts, do something, we couldn’t just stand there.”
Once the ball started moving Plattsburgh got hot from the floor, connecting on nearly 43 percent from the field and just over 33 percent from 3-point range.
Payne and Brittany Marshall led the Cardinals with 14 points apiece. Payne also added seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block, while Marshall was one assist away from a double-double with nine and also added two steals and two boards to her stat sheet.
Plattsburgh played just as strong defensively, as it was able to contain Geneseo’s talented front court.
“We knew our backcourt, our speed and our ability to push the tempo was our strengths and (if we) limited the touches of their big kids we would be successful,” Cole said.
The Cardinals gave the Knights several different looks defensively in order to contain forwards Shannon McGinnis and Allison Mckenna.
“Everybody played their role and did it well,” Cole said. “Misha (Green) just reads help so well, she’s been playing tremendous defense and you can always count on Devona (Paul) to bring that energy and passion. The two of them are a lethal combination.”
Plattsburgh kept McGinnis in check, only allowing her to put up 15 points — nine of which came in the first five minutes of the first half.
Although there were five different lead changes in the first 20 minutes of action, the Cardinals held a 29-23 lead at halftime. They came out in the second half and ran away with the game, as the Knights simply couldn’t keep up with Plattsburgh’s up-tempo style and had difficulty figuring out how to beat its press.
“We pressed them all night,” Cole said. “We played a game plan and I couldn’t be more pleased how we executed it.”
This win was statement game for Plattsburgh, as they defeated a very good Geneseo squad, but for Payne and Cole it was more about taking care of business on their home floor.
“It was definitely a big game, more about defending our home court,” Payne said. “Geneseo is definitely one of the top teams in the conference.”
“We did what we have to do, which is win at home,” Cole added. “(We’re going to) enjoy it for (Friday) and (today) lock back in to a different game plan.”
The Cardinals will hold its annual alumni game at 11 a.m. before they tip off against Brockport at 2 p.m. at Memorial Gym.
Plattsburgh State 62, Geneseo 51
Cohan 3-0-7, Phillips 1-0-2, McGinnis 6-1-15, Ryan 1-0-2, McKenna 4-0-8, Reinhardt 3-0-7, Peterson 1-0-2, Cavanaugh 0-0-0, Vienneau 2-4-8, Annese 0-0-0. Totals: 21-5-51
Plattsburgh State (62)
Marshall 4-3-14, Green 4-0-8, Reifinger 2-0-5, Paul 2-3-7, Payne 4-3-14, Chambers 0-0-0, Lloyd 0-2-2, Adedapo 0-0-0, Dolan 0-0-0, Linder 3-0-7, Miller 2-0-5, Lewis 0-0-0. Totals: 21-11-62
Halftime: Plattsburgh State 29-23
3-point goals: Geneseo (4) Cohan, McGinnis 2, Reinhardt. Plattsburgh State (9) Marshall 3, Reifinger, Payne 3, Linder, Miller,