The Plattsburgh State women’s basketball team started the first 20 minutes of their season looking like a team trying to find its way. In the last 20 minutes, they found what they needed to do to succeed.
Senior captain Brittany Marshall and newly-acquired junior Allie Taylor each scored a game-high 16 points while senior Misha Green added a nine points, nine rebounds, four steals, two assists and one of the Cardinals’ eight blocked shots as PSUC beat Juniata 76-66 in the second game of the NYU Tip-Off Tournament at the Coles Sports Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Cards went 25-of-59 for a 42.4 field goal percentage while limiting the Eagles to a 31.6 percentage shooting clip. Another reason PSUC was able to win the game was them going 22-of-26 from the free throw line.
The Cards did not play a solid game through their first five minutes of the 2014-2015 season. Aside from a Green layup with 45 seconds gone in the first, PSUC recorded no other points and turned over the ball nine times.
Making the beginning of the game even more difficult for the Cards was them going 0-3 after Green’s score and allowing 10 points to four different Juniata players.
Helping the Cards mount a comeback was sophomore Jax Miller who made a pair of free throws. Miller’s two goals from the free-throw line started a 8-0 run for PSUC.
Liz Wortman began the Juniata scoring again with a long-range hit, and the Cards could only muster a Taylor layup with 9:34 remaining in the period.
Swapped baskets by Taylor and Juniata’s Natalie Hager still left the scoreboard displaying a eight-point Eagle advantage with just over seven minutes to go in the frame. PSUC got back into the game with help from a familiar face, senior Ayo Adedapo.
Adedapo came off the bench and provided a spark for the Cards by sinking her first long ball of the season with 6:51 remaining. Her three pointer started a 14-2 Cards run.
Adedapo was the individual who contributed the most in the comeback with a pair of free throws and another long-range jumper. Also contributed to the Cards getting back in the game was another Taylor layup and a pair of free throws from Marshall to give PSUC the 26-24 lead with 4:49 to go.
The PSUC defense was able to keep the lead, only allowing Juniata to go two for nine of field goals and forcing a pair of turnovers during a span of just 2:14.
Holding on to a 36-33 lead, the Cards got the rest they needed during halftime. When the team returned from the locker room, they never gave back the lead to the Eagles.
The defense continued to hold up as it allowed Juniata to shot 1 for 18 on field goals. The Cards forced six of the Eagles’ 22 turnovers during that span.
With the game in the Cards hands, they only let their lead dip below 16 points on the final three minutes of the game. Juniata trimmed the lead to just eight, 74-66, by using a Hager three with 13 seconds remaining in the game, but it was too late for the comeback.
Hager scored a team-high 15 points for the Eagles while Kelsey Lovoti chipped in 14.
With their first win of the season now in the books, the Cards will now turn their attention to a No. 17/16- national ranked New York University in the championship game of the NYU Tip-Off tournament. The game will take places Sunday at 2 p.m.