The SUNY Plattsburgh women’s basketball team was blown out 60-39 in its home-opener against nonconference opponent St. Lawrence University Tuesday.
“Things were falling apart from the beginning,” head coach Cheryl Cole said after the game. “It was an ugly game.”
The Cardinals (1-2) were outrebounded by St. Lawrence (2-2) 44-37, outshot at the freethrow line 35-14 and struggled to contain inside penetration, Cole said.
“I think we were nervous being in our first home game,” Cole said.
Senior forward Taylor Clare was puzzled by the team’s performance coming off a 60-56 win against Bates College.
“We were really out of it. I don’t know what led us to play that way,” she said. “We were so prepared, but I feel like once the lights came on, we were kind of flustered.”
Plattsburgh State kept the game close after the first two quarters, trailing by only three points 21-18 at the half.
St. Lawrence started to find separation in the third quarter after it went on a 10-3 run in the first four minutes of the second half.
The Cards struggled to score as they put seven more points on the board in the quarter to St. Lawrence’s 12.
The Saints kept the game out of reach in the final quarter. Their largest lead over SUNY Plattsburgh was 22.
The upperclassmen took responsibility for the team’s shortcomings after the game, Clare said.
“We had a lot of mistakes, but we can’t blame our young players,” she said. “We can’t blame our coaches. The only people we can blame is ourselves, and that we need to build off last night’s game moving forward.”
Clare offered the younger players advice after the game about composure and how it’s still a young season.
“It’s just the first [home] game. We have so much more season to go. Just have fun and do what they know how to do best.” Clare told them.
St. Lawrence’s freshman forward Olivia Barringer led all scorers with 14 points. Barringer, alongside junior forward Katie Frederick, combined for 25 rebounds and 27 points.
The front court duo saw extended minutes on the floor with each other and towered over the Cards, whose tallest player is Clare, standing at 6 feet tall.
Containing Barringer, 6 feet 2 inches, and Frederick, 6 feet 3 inches, gave Plattsburgh State trouble, Cole said.
“Their length hurt us. There is no doubt,” she said. “They were playing zone, and we weren’t shooting well, so it definitely made it difficult to get things going inside.”
Sophomore guard Ly’rell Walker, who missed the last two games for the Cards, was a player the team could have used Tuesday night, Cole thought.
“She has the capability to do a lot of things on the floor for us. She has a very, very high basketball IQ and can make things happen, especially against a zone. She can probe it. Pick it a part,” Cole said.
Cole hopes Walker will see the floor soon, and hopes she can play as early as tomorrow in the second game of the Cardinal Classic.
SUNY Plattsburgh continues its nonconference schedule when it plays its first match of the Cardinal Classic tonight against Purchase College at 6 p.m. in Memorial Hall.
“These are all steps in the process,” she said. “Hopefully we can figure it out in two days and bounce back. That’s what athletes are, being resilient. We just got knocked in the teeth. Now we better step back up.”