CORTLAND — An aggressive 2-3 Cortland zone defense proved to be Plattsburgh State’s undoing Saturday as the visiting Cardinals dropped their first SUNY Athletic Conference game of the season 73-63.
“It was a great game, both teams played very hard. They were just a little bit better than us tonight,” Cardinals’ Coach Cheryl Cole said. “(That is) Cortland’s primary defense and they were tremendous at it; we need to get better at our zone offense.”
Plattsburgh (5-3, 1-1) and Cortland were tied at 28 at halftime. However, in the second half the Red Dragons were able to take the lead and maintained a safe advantage.
Cortland knocked down 14 of 14 from the line to put away the Cardinals.
“We needed them to miss, but they did exactly what you expect a veteran team to do,” Cole said. “We battled to the very end; we definitely can play with them.”
Plattsburgh struggled from 3-point range, shooting a miniscule 24 percent from behind the arc. The Cardinals also had an uncharacteristic 19 turnovers, another factor in the loss, according to Cole.
“(We were) not able to get enough momentum and knock down shots to get them out of that zone,” Cole said. “They were very active and we didn’t adjust well, we just had too many unforced turnovers.”
Devona Paul followed up a stellar game Friday with another great performance Saturday. Paul finished with 18 points, eight boards, one assist and five blocks for Plattsburgh.
“(Paul) led us with another big game,” Cole said. “She had a tremendous weekend.”
Kathleen Payne also recorded 18 points for the Cardinals as she added another double-double performance to her resume, with 10 rebounds, five assists, two blocks and one steal.
Megan Touhey led the Red Dragons (6-2, 2-0) with 19 points to go along with eight rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Although Saturday’s loss snapped Plattsburgh’s five-game winning streak, Cole was happy to come away from the weekend with at least one victory.