The women’s basketball team split their previous weekend at home with a tough loss against SUNY Fredonia and a win against Buffalo State.
Although the Hawks were able to out-rebound the Blue Devils and score 20 points off of turnovers, Fredonia was able to seal the 60-57 victory when third-year guard Alexis Cheatham made four-consecutive free throws in the final minutes of the game. Cheatham ended up with 13 points on the night.
“The loss against Fredonia was very disappointing because many of the things we worked on all week still were not executed properly and cost us significantly,” Hawks Head Coach Jamie Seward said. “Most obviously was the number of turnovers we had, particularly the travels due to poor footwork. Also, we did a very poor job of finishing quarters, and that is something we spend so much time on because it is so important psychologically.”
The score remained close throughout the third quarter, which ended with the Hawks leading 49-48 after a steal and fast break layup by third-year guard/forward Morgan Roessler with 43 seconds remaining followed by two made free throws by Cheatham on the next possession.
Down the stretch in the fourth quarter, Hawks third-year co-captain Kit Small hit a three and a free throw to give the Hawks back the lead; but with two minutes and 30 seconds remaining, the score was tied by Blue Devils first-year forward Sarah Sweazy. Hawks third-year co-Ccptain Courtney Irby would hit a jumper to take back the lead, but unfortunately the Hawks were unable to keep Cheatham off the charity line.
Irby recorded a double-double with 10 points and 16 rebounds while also adding five steals to the stats sheet. Small would finish with a game total of 18 points.
Small said the team has struggled with finishing quarters strong and pushing their lead even more when they possess one.
“We have been doing specific things in practice to help us improve in this and other things that have been giving us trouble,” she said.
On Saturday, Jan. 23, the Hawks defeated Buffalo State by over 30 points with a final score of 92-61, with 32 of their points coming off of turnovers. Hawks fourth-year co-captain Goldie Harrison scored a career-high of 20 points shooting 8-of-10 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line.
“Goldie [Harrison] played outstanding with such high energy and most of all played with heart and seeing that as a team really made us want to play with just as much heart as she did,” Irby said. “She scored her career-high because of her mentality and effort. She put in 100 percent the whole game.”
Other key players for the Hawks were Irby with her seventh double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Small also added 12 points, making six out of eight free throws and second-year guard Jasmine Bryant added 11 points to the team total.
Seward said during the game, the team had a much better overall focus, intensity and played with greater urgency. Much of this can be attributed to a passionate speech Harrison delivered during shootaround that morning, he said.
In the second half, the Hawks scored a total of 58 points shooting 56.76 percent (21-of-37) from the floor.
On Friday, Jan. 29, the Hawks defeated the Oswego State Lakers 64-48. Key players for the Hawks were Irby with 11 points and nine rebounds and Small, first-year guard Lindsay Bettke and second-year guard/forward Laura Stuart each with nine points.
The following day against SUNY Cortland the Hawks won 73-63 and Irby netted a career-high of 22 points. Bryant also contributed 19 points to the victory.
On Tuesday, Feb. 2, the Hawks defeated SUNY Oneonta with a score of 70-59. Their record is now 13-5 overall and 8-3 in conference play.
The Hawks will next travel to Potsdam and Plattsburgh to play conference matchups on Feb. 5 and 6, respectively.