The Plattsburgh State women’s basketball team has an important weekend as it faces the Cortland Red Dragons tonight at 5:30 in Memorial Hall with three spots remaining in the SUNYAC tournament. Tomorrow, against Oswego State, is Senior Day.
“[This weekend] is our last hoorah,” head coach Cheryl Cole said.
The Cardinals (5-9) sit in seventh place in the SUNYAC standings. A win in tonight’s match against Cortland (7-6) could continue PSUC’s playoff hopes, but a loss could give Brockport (6-8), a comfortable lead for the sixth and final spot in the tournament.
Tonight is also this season’s Play4Kay game, an annual fundraiser for breast cancer
Cole sees the team’s rebounding and free throw struggles as the most important issues to address if the team is to make an appearance in the SUNYAC tournament.
The Cards are out-rebounded by almost eight rebounds a game and have been out-rebounded by 164 in total so far this season.
“It’s been an achilles heel for us,” Cole said.
While PSUC’s smaller lineups have played a role in the rebounding disparity, Cole says her players can, at times, lack an attention to detail and focus, an issue she finds is a byproduct of the team’s youth.
Free throws, meanwhile, are another challenge for the Cards who rank last in the SUNYAC with 57.3 percent of free throws made.
“We’ve had an adventure [at the freethrow line] this season,” Cole said.
In a three-game home stand earlier this season, PSUC won each matchup with its largest margin of victory being seven points. In that same stretch, the Cards missed 43 free throws.
“[Those games] shouldn’t have even been close,” Cole said.
Senior Bella DePasquale agreed with her coach on the little parts of the game affecting the team.
“We’ve got to get that full 40 minutes from these last few games,” she said, “and play to our ability because we have the talent to win.”
PSUC went 5-7 in SUNYAC play over the winter break.
One close loss against Potsdam in particular may come back and spoil the Cards’ postseason hopes.
PSUC lost to the Bears in Potsdam 67-66. The game was determined with two seconds left by two free throws by the Bears on a controversial call.
The Cards look to move past the losses and focus on getting into the tournament for the first time in four years.
PSUC has four games left this season.
“It’s crunch time,” DePasquale said.