The Women’s basketball team split a pair of SUNYAC games to begin their conference season on Friday, Dec. 5 and Saturday, Dec. 6.
On Friday, the Hawks were defeated 71-65 by defending SUNYAC Champions, the Plattsburgh Cardinals.
Trailing by eight points with four minutes left in the game, the Hawks went on a 11-4 run to cut the deficit to one. Converting five free-throws in the final 40 seconds put the Cardinals ahead by six points and the Hawks could not catch up.
Four Hawks finished with double figures in points: second-year guard/forward Kit Small with a game-high 14 points, fourth-year co-Captain Shannan Walker with 12 and third-years co-Captain Goldie Harrison and guard/forward Colleen Ames with 10 points each. Second-year forward Courtney Irby grabbed a team-best eight rebounds for the Hawks as they notched 23 offensive rebounds over the Cardinal’s 11.
Head Coach Jamie Seward said the Hawks did not quite deliver during the game. They were disappointed, he said, because they did not really follow their game plans at times.
“We had a few chances to open up a lead and would commit a dumb foul or put ourselves in a bad position defensively,” he said. “They made a couple of plays late and then we didn’t. Ultimately, [we] took the loss in a game that we felt was ours for the taking.”
The following day, the Hawks defeated the SUNY Potsdam Bears 71-51. Unlike the day prior, the Hawks were on top the entire duration of the game.
First-year guard/forward Jasmine Bryant scored a game-high 16 points in 19 minutes coming off the bench. Bench scoring was a contributing factor to the Hawk’s win, as they outscored the Bears 40-17 in bench points. The Hawks also capitalized on 25 Bears turnovers by converting them into 13 points.
“Our bench played well on Saturday and they got in and really opened up the lead for us,” Seward said. “We were able to play everybody and I think all but one got into the scoring column. I think it really kind of demonstrates the quality of depth of players that we really have.”
With a record of 4-4 overall and 1-1 record in SUNYAC play, the Hawks hit the road to play Cortland on Tuesday, Jan. 6 after a month-long break between games.
To prepare for upcoming SUNYAC competition, Irby said the team will be watching more film so that when its time to play, they will knock the opponent out of their comfort zone. That’s when the Hawks will attack full force and finish the game with a win, she said.
“It’s going to be a slow process and a grind of a process but just continue to stay with it and trust that [process],” Seward said. “By the end of it, I think we’re going to be a really tough basketball team to play. In the meantime, we just have to trust the process and stay with it and try to get a little better day by day.”