This past weekend, the women’s basketball played their first State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) games of the season, as they defeated The College at Brockport on Friday, Dec. 1 by a score of 68-57 and followed that by dropping a 58-56 nail-biter against SUNY Geneseo on Saturday Dec. 2. The Hawks followed up the weekend games by heading up to Cortland on Dec. 5 and losing a 74-56 contest to the Red Dragons, dropping the Hawks record to 3-4.
New Paltz held a 33-32 lead at the half in Cortland, but the Red Dragons outscored New Paltz by a 42-23 margin in the second half. Third-year guard Rachel Simon was the lead scorer for New Paltz with 12 points while also recording six rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Leading the way for the Hawks in the victory against Brockport was second-year guard Marion Dietz who scored a game-high 18 points along with recording three assists. Third-year guard Lindsay Bettke scored 16 points along with six rebounds and three assists. The Hawks also shot 76.5 percent in free throws as a team, including shooting 12-14 from the charity stripe in the second half.
Bettke, who is currently the Hawks’ leading scorer, thought the team could’ve performed better this past weekend.
“It wasn’t the performance we were hoping for,” Bettke said. “Despite our win against Brockport, some defensive weaknesses were exposed in that game and that played to our disadvantage when we faced Geneseo.”
The Hawks got off to a fast start against the Knights as they held a 32-17 lead at the end of the first half. The Hawks extended their lead to 18 at one point in the second half as they held a 47-29 lead with 1:21 to go in the third quarter. The Knights went on a 6-0 run to end the third quarter to cut the deficit to 12. The Knights then outscored the Hawks in the fourth quarter 23-9 which led to their 58-56 victory.
Hawks head coach Jamie Seward touched on how disappointing the loss against Geneseo was.
“What makes this loss tougher is the fact that we held an 18-point lead in the third quarter,” Seward said. “Geneseo is a team we have beaten in three out of the last five SUNYAC finals, two of which occurred in New Paltz, so it’s disappointing since we usually defeat Geneseo when we’re home.”
With SUNYAC play getting underway, Bettke thinks the team needs to improve their confidence to be successful going forward.
“I think our biggest weakness right now is that as a team, we aren’t confident in our talent,” Bettke said. “I think we have the best team in our conference, and if we can get our whole team to believe that, no team is going to be able to stop us.”
Going forward, the Hawks will face SUNY Oneonta in a home game on Saturday Dec. 9 before a three-week break that lasts until Dec. 30 when the team will head up to Massachusetts to play in the Westfield State Tournament. Bettke said that the team needs to get off to a fast start against Oneonta in order to earn the victory.
“We have to establish dominance over them throughout the entire game. We can’t give them any thoughts of hope that they can get the win over us,” Bettke said. “If we come out with urgency and finish plays, we will get the wins and show our conference that we are the top team.”