The Plattsburgh state women’s basketball team welcomed the Oneonta Red Dragons and New Paltz Hawks to Memorial Hall this past weekend, looking to make a push toward SUNYACs.

Although they fell short twice, losing to Oneonta 59-53 and losing to New Paltz 81-73, the Cardinals (11-9, 5-8 SUNYAC) played two great games and did not stop fighting until the final buzzer sounded.

Despite losing against Oneonta, senior forward Devona Paul said her team competed and put forth a strong effort.

“We dug ourselves a hole by getting too many turnovers,” Paul said. “That was hard to come back from for us. We got a little out of sort so to speak. They hit some big shots and sometimes that is going to happen. We came out with intensity and energy to win this game. I think we did a good job holding on.”

Paul had a great overall performance against Oneonta, finishing with eight points and shooting 50 percent from the field. Paul also recorded six rebounds and three blocks.

PSUC head coach Cheryl Cole said a combination of Oneonta starting the second half shooting well and the Cards turning the ball over were key factors that prevented her team from gaining a lead and winning the contest.

“I thought we turned the ball over too much in the first half,” Cole said. “We were too casual with ball, and in the end, we gave up crucial second-chance offensive rebounds and second-chance opportunities. We needed stops, and we needed to secure rebounds. We did pretty well defensively, but then we gave up an offensive board which was a bit deflating.”

On the second night of the back-to-back home games, PSUC took on New Paltz in SUNYAC play. The Cards played an impressive game but fell short. Once again, Paul played a stellar game, finishing as the Cards leading scorer with 17 points.

Overall, it a was great scoring output from senior guard and forward Stephanie Linder over the weekend, scoring 15 points against the Red Dragons and shooting 46 percent from the field and 60 percent from three-point range. Linder added five rebounds, six assists, one block and two steals.

Linder’s impressive stat line against the Cortland would be matched when PSUC challenged New Paltz. On the second night of a back-to-back, Linder put on another impressive scoring output, finishing with 17 points, three rebounds, five assists and one steal.

Despite the Cards recent defeats, they have not lost the motivation and energy to succeed as the season closes.

Sophomore guard Monique Jones said keeping their motivation is essential for the Cards to succeed.

“We need to bring the intensity and fire into these five games because it’s a crucial time, and we need to have a lot of energy on the floor,” Jones said. “I would say those are things we need to carry out in these last five games we have left.”

PSUC will look to utilize this mindset as they return to the court to square off against SUNY Cortland tonight and Oswego State tomorrow, and Jones stressed defense will be an important factor in both games for the Cards.

“The key will be defense. Our defense is going to be the major key in our next upcoming games,” Jones said. “We got to stop the other team from scoring.”

Email Adonys Temple at adonys.temple@cardinalpointsonline.com

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