Fast Break

Photo by Holly Lipka.

The Women’s basketball team has won three straight games, bringing their record to 7-2.

On Friday, Dec. 4 the Hawks began State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) play and defeated SUNY Plattsburgh by a score of 62-52. This was the Cardinals’ first loss of the season.

Up until the 5:36 mark in the third quarter, the Cardinals held a 10-point advantage over the Hawks. New Paltz would trim it to just a one-point deficit at the end of the quarter highlighted by a layup in the paint at the buzzer by fourth-year co-Captain Goldie Harrison.

The two teams would exchange leads early in the fourth quarter. But a 3-pointer at the 7:49 mark by second-year guard Jasmine Bryant would give the Hawks the lead for good. A free-throw by Cardinals first-year forward Simone Ayers made it a 56-52 New Paltz lead with 2:45 left in the game. But the Hawks would not let their opponent score again to secure the win.

“It’s always big to win any conference game, but a little more so with this one because of how well Plattsburgh had played this season coming into the game,” Hawks Head Coach Jamie Seward said. “Add in the fact that we shot the ball so poorly in the first half and came from double-digits down in the second half, and I was very happy with the grit and resiliency our players demonstrated.”

Third-year co-Captain Kit Small led the Hawks with 19 points, and fourth-year guard Colleen Ames was second on the team with 13 points off the bench. Third-year co-Captain Courtney Irby notched her second double-double of the season with 10 points and a career-high 21 rebounds.

The next day the Hawks defeated SUNY Potsdam by a lopsided score of 89-42. This was the Hawks’ largest margin of victory since their 71-23 win over The College at Brockport on Jan. 20, 2012. This was the most points the Hawks have scored in a game since their 97-89 loss to New York University on Dec. 1, 2008.

“The win over Potsdam was a success,” Irby said. “We threw the first punch and didn’t let up, and it was also nice that everyone on our team scored and contributed to our win.”

The Hawks’ largest lead of the day came at the 1:29 mark in the third quarter after a layup in the paint by second-year forward Stephanie Volpe gave New Paltz a 70-22 lead, a 48-point difference.

The Hawks held a 55-39 advantage in rebounds and shot 40.6 percent from the floor (26-of-64) while shooting 83.3 percent from the line (25-of-30).

Bryant led the team with 14 points, while Small and Ames were second on the team with 12 points each. Hawks third-year guard and forward Morgan Roessler and first-year guard Lindsay Bettke scored 11 and 10 points, respectively. Irby led the team in rebounds with 10, while Small and second-year guard and forward Laura Stuart tallied a team-high four assists each.

On Tuesday, Dec. 8 the Hawks defeated Vassar College 63-60 for their third-straight victory.

Both teams exchanged leads in the first quarter but the Brewers came out on top with a 12-9 lead. Vassar built up an eight-point lead with 3:15 remaining in the third quarter and entered the fourth quarter with a 48-43 lead.

The Hawks would tie the game 50-50 at the 7:31 mark thanks to a 3-pointer by Ames. New Paltz and Vassar would continue to exchange leads before a 3-pointer by Small broke a 56-56 tie and put New Paltz up for good. The Brewers had plenty of opportunities to steal the game, but the Hawks held on for the win.

“The win over Vassar was a nail-biting game, we were in for a dogfight and fortunately we won it,” Irby said. “There are a few things that we have to clean up, but a win is a win and I’m glad we fought through to pull it out.”

Small led the team with 17 points and three assists. Irby was right behind her with 16 points and led the team in rebounds with 12 for her third double-double of the season. Ames also contributed with 13 points off the bench.

The Hawks will get some much needed rest over the holiday break as their next game will not be until Tuesday, Jan. 5 against SUNY Cortland. Despite the long layoff, Seward is confident that the team will keep their focus during the holidays.

“The break can be challenging, but this team has demonstrated a unique ability to keep their focus on what is in front of them,” Seward said. “So, I am confident they will stay in shape and work on their individual games and to do everything possible to pick back up right where we leave off.”