PLATTSBURGH — Clinton Community College women’s basketball coach Donna Dixon had a game plan that only she and her team believed would dethrone the No. 2 team in the country Saturday.
To their credit, it paid off.
The Cougars (8-6), who received a combined 24 points from Alisha Ducatte and Jessica Decker, collected a huge 55-52 upset win in NJCAA play.
“We accomplished what we set out to do — stop them in transition, rebound, take care of the basketball and execute our offense,” Dixon said. “We did that well enough to win the game.”
Entering the contest, the Hawks (16-2) averaged 76 points per game, but Clinton was able to limit second-chance scoring opportunities and hold Mohawk Valley to 19 first-half points, for a 5-point lead at the break.
“Defensively, we played real hard,” Dixon said. “Mohawk had a lot of contested shots with someone’s hand in their face. We were diving on loose balls and had a lot of intensity throughout.”
The Cougars held the upper hand for a majority of the contest, but Mohawk Valley took its first lead with 1:41 remaining in the second half, going up 52-51. But 43 seconds later, Clinton sophomore Katrina Garrand made a layup to regain the lead.
After exchanging possessions, Garrand helped extend the differential to three points by dribbling past three defenders and hitting Decker in the low block for a 2-point play.
Mohawk Valley had what Dixon called a “decent look” to tie the game from the perimeter with three seconds left, but leading scorer Shaniece Brown’s shot rimmed out.
“We’re a young a ballclub,” Dixon said. “They had the height advantage in the paint and a deep bench, but when they made a couple runs, we were able to answer. It was a great game and a quality win.”
Katelyn Gates grabbed six rebounds to go along with nine points, while Decker added 10 points and totaled six boards. Garrand finished with eight points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Clinton travels to Hudson Valley Community College Thursday.
Mohawk Valley 52
Mohawk Valley (52)
S. Brown 3-0-8, Way 1-0-2, Walker 0-2-2, Jones 0-0-0, Harewood 0-3-3, Pearce 1-0-2, Thomas 4-0-9, K. Brown 0-0-0, Giles 2-3-7, Suarez 0-0-0, Hafeez 3-1-7, Ray 4-3-13. Totals: 18-12-52.
Garrand 2-4-8, Gates 3-3-9, Ducatte 5-1-14, E. Decker 2-2-6, J. Decker 5-0-10, Horton 2-4-8, Paul 0-0-0, Agoney 0-0-0. Totals: 19-14-55.
Halftime: 24-19, Clinton.
3-point goals: Mohawk Valley (4): S. Brown 2, Thomas, Ray 2. Clinton (3): Ducatte 3.
Mohawk Valley 55, Clinton 54
PLATTSBURGH — Two mental mistakes in the closing stages of Saturday’s game was all it took for the Clinton Community College men’s basketball team to surrender a potential victory.
The Cougars (9-9) led the whole contest up until the one-minute mark of the second half.
“We committed two mental errors in the last five seconds, and it was really unfortunate,” Cougars coach Kevin Daugherty said. “Our guys worked extremely hard, and I loved our effort for the first 39 minutes and 50 seconds.”
With the game tied at 54-all and 10 seconds remaining on the clock, Kyree Hull fouled a Mohawk (12-7) shooter on a 3-point shot. Following one converted free throw on three attempts, Clinton was unable to get the ball down the court for a go-ahead opportunity.
“We struggled to score throughout the whole second half,” Daugherty said. “They did a good job converging on (Mykell) Crecko. We couldn’t hit outside shots that gave us our 9-point lead in the first half. It basically turned into a back-and-forth defensive battle, and we worked extremely hard.”
Chris Miller had a game-high 14 points, while Hull (13) and Crecko (11) combined for 24.
The Cougars need to finish over .500 to reserve a playoff spot. The team has 10 games remaining on its schedule, starting off with four consecutive home games beginning Wednesday versus Hudson Valley Community College.
Mohawk Valley 55,
Brown 3-0-6, Lewis 0-0-0, Pinnock 3-0-6, Martinez 5-0-10, Pearce 2-0-5, Branch 2-7-11, Harley 4-0-8, Williams 0-0-0, Campbell 0-0-0, Marlow 0-0-0, Burton 2-5-9. Totals: 21-12-55.
Crecko 4-2-11, Radan 0-2-2, Miller 6-0-14, Hull 6-0-13, Davison 1-1-4, LaPoint 2-1-5, Spencer 0-0-0, Coolidge 1-0-2, Knight 1-0-3, Chabau 0-0-0. Totals: 21-7-54.
Halftime: 34-25, Clinton.
3-point goals: Mohawk (1): Pearce. Clinton (6): Crecko, Miller 2, Hull, Davison, Knight.
St. Joseph’s College 101,
Paul Smith’s College 82
RUTLAND, Vt. — St. Joseph’s College just couldn’t miss from beyond the perimeter, hitting 22 3-pointers.
“In the early stages of the game, we did very well defensively but really struggled to rebound the ball,” Bobcats coach Joe Akey said. “From that point, St. Joseph’s caught fire and we were unable to get them out of rhythm. It was just too deep of a hole to climb out of.”
Casey Hall and Ramel Anderson led the Fighting Saints with 26 points, respectively.
Alex Medina paced Paul Smith’s with 24 points, while Shiva Senthil added 22 in the loss.
“In the second half, their hot shooting continued and every time we were able to chip into the lead, they would hit a couple of deep 3-pointers that kept us out of range to make a serious run,” Akey said. “I have not seen a team shoot that well in a long time. I thought we played OK overall, but when a team is that hot, there is not much you can do.”
The Bobcats play Fisher College today in Boston.
St. Joseph’s College 101, Paul Smith’s College 82
Paul Smith’s College (82)
Medina 9-4-24, Wightman 2-2-6, Hapgood 2-0-4, Odell 5-0-10, Senthil 9-1-22, Klock 4-1-10, McCuin 1-1-3. Totals: 32-9-82.
St. Joseph’s College (101)
Jant 2-0-6, Threewitts 3-0-7, R. Anderson 9-2-26, De. Anderson 3-0-9, Dr. Anderson 6-2-19, Shuldow 1-0-2, Jush 3-2-8, Hall 10-1-26. Totals: 39-7-101.
Halftime: 57-32, St. Joseph’s College.
3 Point Field Goals: Paul Smith’s College (6): Senthil 3, Medina 2, Klock
St. Joseph’s College (22): R. Anderson 6, Hall 5, Dr. Anderson 5, De. Anderson 3, Jant 2, Threewitts.