Women’s Basketball Pushes Through SUNYAC Play

The lady Hawks have had strong showings in their first two State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) games of the season. (Photo courtesy of Robin Weinstein/Office of Communication and Marketing)

The women’s basketball team (4-2 overall, 2-0 SUNYAC) secured two conference wins over the weekend, winning 69-50 against Plattsburgh State and 82-54 against SUNY Potsdam.

“We had some stretches of good play in both games, but we also had some long stretches where we were not happy with how we performed,” said Hawks head coach Jamie Seward. “That being said, after the extremely long week of difficult travel we are happy to have come home with two wins.”

On Friday, Nov. 30, Plattsburgh State started off strong, gaining a 7-4 lead over the Hawks. At 5:09, a layup by fourth-year guard Rachel Simon got the Hawks going again, as she hit a 3-pointer afterwards to give New Paltz the lead back, 9-7. The Hawks would end the first quarter with a four-point cushion, up 11-7.

Four minutes into the fourth, the Cardinals took the lead back from the Hawks, scoring eight-unanswered points to go up 18-16. Second-year guard and forward Nicole Ziogas tied the score back at 18 for New Paltz with a layup, and Paige Niemeyer sunk two foul shots to take the advantage. The Hawks had a solid finish in the last five minutes, ending the first half with a 29-21 lead.

Both teams struggled from the floor in the first, with the Cardinals at only 37.5 percent, and New Paltz not far behind at 29.4 percent.

New Paltz continued their success in the second half, scoring 21 points in the third quarter alone. A Simon jumper gave the Hawks the lead 50-34 going into the final quarter.

The Cardinals couldn’t come back from New Paltz’s large lead, as the game finished with a score of 69-50 after hefty contributions by Ziogas and Simon. 

Ziogas put up a season high 12 points in 18 minutes, while Simon led the Hawks considerably with her 20 points and five rebounds during Friday’s game.

“We knew we wanted to speed both teams up and make them play outside their comfort zone. I feel like we did a good job and forced a lot of turnovers,” said fourth-year guard Taylor Howell.

The Hawks kept up the momentum on Saturday, when they secured a win against the hosting Potsdam Bears, 82-54.

New Paltz started off with a solid footing in the first quarter, as 16 unanswered points gave them a 28-10 lead to start the game. The second quarter only worked more in the Hawks’ favor, outscoring the Bears 21-14 to go up 49-24 at the end of the first half.

Despite the Hawks’ large lead, The Bears kept fighting, and in the third quarter cut New Paltz’s lead down to only 14 points. Howell, fourth-year guard Lindsay Bettke and third-year forward Madison Van Pelt kept up the momentum for the Hawks however, as a layup by Bettke started a seven unanswered point rally for New Paltz. A 3-pointer from Howell and a layup by Van Pelt finished the quarter, as New Paltz headed into the fourth with a 21-point lead..

Potsdam put up a good fight, but could not get the ball to the net enough. In the fourth quarter the Hawks only made the Bears fight harder as they fell behind more and more to give the Hawks the win, 82-54.

“Our strongest assets this season are our versatility and team chemistry,” Bettke said. “We have players who are good at multiple things, and we all get along really well.”

Howell led the team in scoring with 21 points in Saturday’s game, while Bettke followed with 17 points, seven assists and four rebounds. Simon also played hard, adding 16 points, six rebounds and two assists to the team’s stats.

“Hopefully we can build on the good stretches and play closer to a complete game on Saturday, and we will need to,” Seward said.

The Hawks are back on the court on Saturday, Dec. 8 when they battle Catskill Cup Rival SUNY Oneonta.

About Shyana Fisher 60 Articles
Shyana Fisher is a fourth-year journalism major. This is her sixth semester on staff at the Oracle, previously serving as a sports copy editor and Features Page Editor. She enjoys writing profiles and has recently found passion in her radio station internship at WGNA 107.7.