PLATTSBURGH — After a hard fought win Friday against Geneseo, the Cardinals faced the challenge of playing through fatigue to get past a fired-up Brockport team.
Fortunately, Plattsburgh was able to overcome 12 lead changes, as it took care of business Saturday and defeated the Golden Eagles, 76-64, in women’s SUNYAC basketball.
“Bottom line we looked tired from (Friday),” Cardinals coach Cheryl Cole said. “We played hard (Friday) night, we showed some fatigue, physically as well as mentally.”
Plattsburgh had contributions from a few of their veterans, such as Brittany Marshall and Kathleen Payne, but it was sophomore Devona Paul who emerged in the second half to score 15 points, grab seven rebounds and add two assists.
“I definitely couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Paul said. “Everybody at one point pulled us right back up.”
“She was a little off her game in the first half, (but) she really responded in the second half,” Cole added. “It was a learning curve, every day she makes growth. (She’s) realizing what it takes.”
Payne finished with a team-high 17 points, five rebounds, two assists and two blocks, while Marshall tallied 14 points with five boards and five assists.
In the first half the Cardinals looked lack-luster as they committed 11 turnovers and only had one assist as a team.
“We struggled in the first half,” Cole said. “We needed to regroup at halftime.”
“(Cole told us) to pick it up,” Paul added. “We just had to dig down and play our game and do what we do best.”
The beginning of the second half Brockport still wouldn’t go away. The Golden Knights took the lead two minutes in after the Cardinals were up 31-28 at half.
But Plattsburgh picked it up midway through the second as they forced turnovers defensively and started to penetrate the paint on offense.
The Cardinals scored 22 points off Brockport turnovers and recorded 40 points in the paint.
“It shows maturity (that) we were able to put our heels in the ground and get a stop,” Cole said. “Learning how to compete and how to finish, knowing what it takes to win, that’s maturity.”
Plattsburgh was phenomenal from the free throw line, connecting on 19-21, which was good for nearly 91 percent.
Anna Feller and Faith Welch led the Golden Eagles offensively, as Feller finished with a game-high 18 points and added three rebounds and two steals. Welch was hot from behind the arc, sinking 5-of-10 from 3-point range as she finished with 16 points, two boards and four assists.
“They’re going to compete and battle,” Cole said. “They played hard and they made us step up and earn the win.”
The Cardinals will have a well deserved break, as its next contest isn’t until next weekend when they travel to New Paltz and Oneonta.
Plattsburgh State 76, Brockport 64
Rehbaum 2-2-7, Cunningham 2-0-4, Marshall 3-0-6, Welch 5-2-16, Feller 9-018, Battaglia 0-0-0, Yacovoni 0-0-0, Leone 2-4-8, Hammersley 1-1-3, Fortney 0-0-0, Fordyce 0-2-2. Totals: 24-11-64
Plattsburgh State (64)
Marshall 6-0-14, Green 3-1-7, Reifinger 4-0-8, Paul 4-7-15, Payne 5-6-17, Lloyd 2-1-5, Adedapo 1-0-2, Linder 2-2-6, Miller 0-2-2, Lewis 0-0-0. Totals: 27-19-76
Halftime: Plattsburgh State, 31-28.
3-point goals: Brockport (5) Rehbaum, Welch 4. Plattsburgh State (3) Marshall 2, Payne.