The Plattsburgh State women’s basketball team was handed their third straight loss since the start of the semester. SUNY Potsdam delivered the Cardinals’ latest loss by a single possession, 69-66 last Tuesday at Memorial Hall.
Junior guard Hanna Whitney had a good look from behind the arc to put PSU up by one in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter but missed. She finished the game with a career-high 19 points.
The Cards last faced the Bears Jan. 14 at Potsdam, where PSU won 80-75 in double overtime.
“Going in, you knew it was going to be a battle,” head coach Cheryl Cole said. “Both teams had runs and had their chances. We had a number of good chances at the end. I thought Hanna Whitney’s shot was buried.”
Potsdam’s players forced PSU to rely on zone defense throughout the game and gave up a lot of jump shots to Potsdam.
Four different players scored in double figures for the Bears. Sophomore forward Devyn Elliott led Potsdam in scoring with 16 points. Elliott ended the game with a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
“You kind of had to pick your poison,” Cole said.
The Cards’ last game before Potsdam was against The College at Brockport, when PSU lost to Brockport 55-51 on the road last Saturday. Before that, in the semester’s first game, the Cards lost to SUNY Geneseo 63-50.
“We just can’t seem to catch a break and finish a game,” Cole said. “Every game has been down the wire since the start of the second semester.”
Freshman forward Misa Dowdell said the string of losses affected the team.
“We definitely had a couple of rough games,” she said, “so that hurt our confidence as a team.”
Dowdell has felt more upbeat about the team as the team has gotten closer after team bonding experiences. She feels the better chemistry will start showing on the court.
“There are still things we have to work on, which is spacing on the floor, switching on defense, but that comes with time,” Dowdell said.
Coming back from a break is always challenging, Cole said. Although the team played games during the winter break, to come back and start classes again meant players needed some time to readjust.
PSU’s three losses dropped the Cards into a three-way tie for ninth place in the SUNYAC standings with Fredonia and Oneonta.
Despite their spot in the standings, Cole is optimistic her team can pull through in the final six games of the regular season — four of which are played at home.
“I feel like we can beat anybody,” Cole said.
The Cards’ next game is tonight against Fredonia at 5:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall. A loss tonight would almost guarantee PSU misses the SUNYAC tournament.
In the last match against Fredonia on Jan. 18, the Cards narrowly lost by three points as PSU was beaten on the road 61-58.