Since returning from the break with a 58-49 loss against SUNY Cortland on Tuesday Jan. 6, the Women’s basketball team started a four-game win streak prior to their matchup against SUNY Fredonia last Friday, Jan. 23.
Their four-game win streak was extended to five games with a 73-67 victory over SUNY Fredonia. Head Coach Jamie Seward credits his veterans for setting a spark in the team after the loss against Cortland.
“The loss against Cortland got us going,” he said. “We felt we weren’t attacking and playing with that aggressive edge we desired, so some of the older players challenged their younger teammates to get the competitive juices flowing more on a day-to-day basis.”
The team was led against Fredonia by second-year guard/forward Kit Small, who scored a team-high 20 points. Fourth-year co-Captain Shannan Walker was right behind her with 19 points.
The Hawks trailed by a score of 36-30 at halftime but outscored Fredonia 43-31 in the second half to capture the victory.
The game was tied at 62-62 with 5:36 left on the clock. Walker gave the Hawks the lead with a jumper at 3:36 to make it 64-62. The Fredonia Blue Devils pulled within one, but the Hawks did not relinquish the lead.
The team’s five-game win streak came to an end the following day, as the Hawks suffered a gut-wrenching 69-68 loss against Buffalo State. The Hawks trailed by 18 at a point in the second half, but battled back to take a 68-67 lead with 27 seconds remaining in the game. The Buffalo State Bengals scored a layup with eight seconds left in the game to secure a 69-68 lead and ensure the victory.
Small once again led the team with 20 points, and third-year co-Captain Christine Rivera was second on the team with 14 points off the bench. Third-year co-Captain Goldie Harrison and second-year forward Courtney Irby chipped in with 10 points each. Despite the tough loss, Coach Seward remained positive.
“To get beat by one with six seconds left is a bitter pill to swallow,” he said. “That being said, we have a lot of basketball left to play and with such a young team, we still have so much room for improvement. The key will be if we can continue to get better over the next few weeks.”
The team currently holds a 9-6 overall record and 5-3 record in SUNYAC play. They are on pace for an improved record this season with a 6-19 finish last season. Coach Seward credits the increase in roster depth that has made the team much more successful this season.
“With only 10 players last year, it was difficult to create the type of competitive environment we like to have,” he said. “Additionally, we have the ability to play 10-12 players every night and not lose anything in doing so. This is evident by the fact that we have only three players averaging over 20 minutes per game, and none playing over 30.”
The team’s next game will take place on Friday, Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. against SUNY Oswego. It will be the start of a five-game homestand that will conclude on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 4 p.m. against SUNY Plattsburgh.