January 16, 2013

Second-half letdown sends Plattsburgh to setback

PLATTSBURGH — For 20 minutes Plattsburgh State’s women’s basketball team could do no wrong and more than held its own against a loaded Williams College squad, regarded by many, as one of the strongest Division III teams in the East.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals there are two halves to every basketball game and by the final buzzer Plattsburgh came out on the short end of a 59-44 decision.

Playing some of its best basketball of the season, Plattsburgh held the lead the entire first half and went into the break boasting a somewhat surprising 33-19 lead.

The Cardinals, led by Tequilla Lloyd’s 10-point performance, shot the ball extremely well early on, connecting on 15-of-30 (50%) from the field, in the opening stanza. Perhaps even more impressive was a defensive effort that limited the high-powered Ephs offense to just seven field goals on 39 attempts (17.9%) over the first 20 minutes of play.

“We played an awesome first half and really gave ourselelves a chance,” said Plattsburgh coach Cheryl Cole. “We played loose, weren’t forcing shots and really executed extremely well against a very good team.”

The euphoria would not last, however, as Williams went on an 18-4 run to open the second half to pull even with just over 10 minutes to play.

“We just stopped doing all the things that had worked so well for us in the first half,” said Cole. “We just seemed to lose our focus and started playing tentative, not to lose. We also got outworked by a more disciplined, veteran team that knows what it takes to win these types of games. That’s just something we haven’t yet learned how to do yet.

“They were a lot taller than us, but it wasn’t their height that beat us in the second half, it was more about us playing scared, not fighting hard enough and getting outworked by a veteran team that knows how to finish games. I think our youth and inexperience may have got the best of us tonight us tonight but, we’ll learn from this experience and take it with us as we move forward.”

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