On Nov. 15 and 16 the SUNY New Paltz women’s basketball team came off of a win against R.I.T. and beat M.I.T., but fell to Tufts University in the Tufts Tip-off Tournament at the University of Massachusetts’ Boston’s Clark Athletic Center.
The Lady Hawks were up against M.I.T. first at 6 p.m. and took the win 76-56. New Paltz took the first quarter, making the score 18-13 after fourth-year forward Paige Neimeyer and fourth-year guard Marion Dietz ran the Hawks’ offense, together earning 12 of the 18 points of the quarter.
In the second quarter Dietz earned another 11 points, three of which were 3-pointers at 2:53, 2:17 and 1:32. Fourth-year forward Maddie Van Pelt added another two points to the board after two free throws, and Dietz ended the quarter with a layup with four seconds remaining. The Hawks now led 36-28.
The Hawks took flight in the third quarter and took the lead 60-35. Fourth-year forward Philesha Teape led in the quarter with eight points, Dietz followed with five, Van Pelt and Neimeyer with four, and third-year guard Nicole Ziogas came in with a 3-pointer.
“We graduated a couple of All-Americans who really scored so [Marion] now has the ability to score,” said Head Coach Jamie Seward. “She had some big games in the past year and prior to two years to that. But, she has certainly become more of a focal point of our offense for this year’s senior class.”
In the fourth, New Paltz subbed out three of five starters. First-year guards Lexi Van Vorst and Graci Serravillo both landed three pointers at 9:53 and 9:19, respectively, earning their first collegiate minutes. Teape followed with eight consecutive points and Niemeyer offered two with two free throws. The Hawks led with points in the paint 32-24 and second chance points 8-4. Ultimately, Dietz led the game in points with 22 and scored 50% of her 3-pointer and field goal attempts.
“We gave some of the freshmen some opportunity to play some more minutes because we’re going to need them as the season progresses and we have had a really challenging schedule up to this point,” Seward said. “We haven’t had a lot of opportunities to get them significant minutes so we tried to get them more time during that fourth quarter against M.I.T.”
On Nov. 16 at 4 p.m. the Lady Hawks fell to the Tufts University Elephants 69-53, earning their first loss of the season, leaving their record at 2-1. The first quarter was stagnant with intense defense, as the Hawks finished in the lead 7-6. Dietz scored a good layup at 9:43, followed by Ziogas with a 3-pointer at 7:09 and a layup from Niemeyer at 6:46, all earning the only points of the quarter for the Hawks.
In the second quarter the Elephants trudged forward, taking the lead 27-14. Tufts’ third-year guard Emily Briggs led with 11 points. After the half, the Lady Hawks had a new spark in energy and followed the Elephants 46-34 at the end of the third. In the fourth the Hawks remained behind by more than 10 points and couldn’t seem to catch up, ending the game with a box score of 69-53.
Briggs led for Tufts in points with 21 and scoring 9-12 field goals for the game. Dietz led once again for the Hawks in points with 15 and going 7-11 in free throws.
“We want to play at that high level with our four seniors with the experience that they have played in six NCAA tournament games in their careers and won multiple conference championships,” Seward said. “We’re excited about this group and we know we have a lot of work to do but at the same time we think that we have a lot of potential to make [more championships] happen.”
The Lady Hawks are back in action at home against SUNY Potsdam on Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m. for their first game in the State University of New York Athletic Conference.