With the regular season coming to a close, the Plattsburgh State women’s basketball team is focused on winning games and working together as a whole.
The Cardinals (13-10, 7-9 SUNYAC) displayed this mindset in their latest matchup, defeating the Potsdam Bears 62-31 Wednesday night.
Prior to PSUC’s most recent win, the team welcomed the Cortland Red Dragons and Oswego State Lakers to Memorial Hall, looking to make a push toward SUNYACs.
The Cards split their two-game home stand over the weekend with a loss Friday to Cortland 69-66 and a win Saturday against Oswego 69-53.
On the first night of a back-to-back, PSUC battled the Red Dragons and maintained a decent lead through three quarters but could not get a comfortable lead in the fourth quarter as they were outscored 26-13.
A stellar performance by senior forward Devona Paul highlighted the night for the Cards as she finished with a double-double, scoring 24 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Paul shot 67 percent from the field and went to the free throw line 12 times and made all 12 shots.
In the second night of the back-to-back, the Cards battled against Oswego in a hard fought game that was a wire to wire win for the Cards.
In a winning effort, Paul said the team was fired up after a loss the night before, especially with it being senior day, where Stephanie Linder, Allie Taylor, Misha Green and Paul were honored.
“I think we brought the same intensity we always bring,” Paul said. “We were ready to go today, and it was a fun day just like it is every year with high energy and positivity, and I think we are all here for the right reasons. I would say we love each other, and that shows on the court.”
In a great showing by PSUC, Linder said the team was focused.
“Everyone has been playing in the zone this year,” Linder said. “We have been really trying to hammer it going through transition, moving the ball in getting it out, and we stuck to that today and that led us to the win.”
Linder played well overall on both ends of the floor against Oswego. She was the leading scorer, posting 16 points, three assists four steals and four rebounds.
PSUC head coach Cheryl Cole said that a combination of defensive pressure and consistent ball movement were essential to their win.
“We wanted to make all the hustle plays and all the energy plays,” Cole said. “We made the hustle plays, and the fifty-fifty balls went our way because we were hitting them. We wanted to leave it all out on the floor and that’s what we did. I thought we got a good balance of scoring, and I thought it was a good solid team effort.”
Cole also talked about the seniors and what it meant to coach them.
“They are a special group,” Cole said. “They each are unique, they have their own talents and the best I can say about the four of them is that they are better people than they are players and they are pretty good players. That’s important to me that they are great people and they are great teammates. They are 75 percent of our offense this season, so we are losing a lot of our offense as well as defense, leadership and experience.”
PSUC will look to keep rolling as they close out their season this weekend on a two game road trip, playing Brockport today and Geneseo on tomorrow.
Linder stressed that the team will remain very focused moving forward.
“It’s not time to be sad yet because our season is not over,” Linder said. “We still have a season to play.”
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