The SUNY Plattsburgh women’s basketball team closed out its first five nonconference games of the season 2-3 as it prepares for its conference-opener against the Red Dragons at Oneonta tonight at 5:30 p.m.

The Cardinals’ last two games was a part of the Cardinal Classic, when SUNY Plattsburgh hosted Purchase College after a 60-39 loss to St. Lawrence University in its home-opener.

Head coach Cheryl Cole thought her team responded well to the loss.

“We were more locked in, focused on details,” she said about the 63-35 win over Purchase, “It was really important for us to get some confidence, to get some flow to our offense. It was a good rebound game, and we needed it.”

Sophomore guard Kayla Doody led the Cards in scoring against Purchase with 12 points on 4-6 shooting and also led in assists with seven.

SUNY Plattsburgh advanced to the Classic’s championship game against Hamilton College, but weren’t able to pull of the win as Hamilton won 76-61.

The Continentals got off to a quick start as they scored 24 points to the Cards’ 10. Plattsburgh State narrowed Hamilton’s lead to 38-29 at the half and were able to cut the lead to five points in the third quarter, but Hamilton made a series of runs to keep the game out of reach.

Four different Hamilton players scored in double digits and combined for 48 points.

“We’re nowhere near the finished product that we want to be at, and that’s a process. It’s going to take some time.” Cole said. “We didn’t back down. We kept battling, so those are some good things.”

Sophomore guard Ly’rell Walker played her first game back from injury since the season-opener against Hamilton. Walker scored 10 points in 13 minutes on 4-6 shooting.

Cole thought it was good Walker got a chance to log some minutes ahead of the first conference game of the season.

“It was nice to get her back in the flow,” Cole said. “We’ve been missing her.”

Cole hopes the Hamilton game will prepare her team for tonight.

“That’s the kind of game we need. That’s the kind of competition we need, because that’s going to prepare us for the conference,” Cole said.

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