Women’s Basketball Shoots for SUNYAC Wins

Photo courtesy of Ed Diller Photography.

The Women’s basketball team has won two of their last three games and are preparing for the start of their SUNYAC season.

The Hawks won the Wesleyan Tournament championship on Saturday, Nov. 22 in Middletown, Connecticut.

In the tournament’s first game on Friday, Nov. 21, the Hawks defeated Purchase College 76-46, going on a 28-5 run to take a 46-19 halftime advantage. With 11:42 remaining in the game, the Hawks took possession of a 47-point lead when the score was 68-21.

Fourth-year co-Captain Shannan Walker scored 12 points for the Hawks. Second-year forward Courtney Irby scored 11 points, while grabbing nine rebounds. Rebounds were key to the Hawks success throughout the game. First-year forward Norvonee Hall grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds and third-year forward Ana Morel notched ten coming off the bench. The Hawks scored 50 points total by players off the bench.

The Hawks’ win in this matchup was the largest margin of victory for New Paltz since defeating The College at Brockport by 48 points on Jan. 20, 2012.

The following day, the Hawks defeated host Wesleyan University 50-48.

Hawks second-year guard/forward Kit Small put up a team-high 15 points in the win. Small was named the Tournament MVP after averaging 11 points-per-game and five rebounds-per-game during the two-day event.

Irby contributed five points and nine boards and was named to the All-Tournament Team, averaging 8 points-per-game and 9 rebounds-per-game.

After winning two games that weekend, the Hawks were defeated 69-66 by Mount Saint Mary College on Tuesday, Nov. 25.

Going into halftime of the home-opener, the Hawks lead the Knights 37-34. Coming out of halftime, the Hawks never led by more than five points.

Small recorded a double-double scoring a game-high 18 points and hauling in 14 rebounds. New Paltz previously defeated Mount Saint Mary 61-40 in the consolation game of the Emmanuel Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 16.

Head Coach Jamie Seward said the team is still struggling shooting the ball, but continue to defend well. If the team defends the rebound, then they will be in every game, regardless of how they shoot the ball, he said.

“Overall, we have a really strong group of leaders who have really set that tone and understand now, having what they gone through, what it means to bring it every day and the importance of it,” Seward said.

The Hawks now have a record of 3-3 and next begin a three-game road trip as they open up SUNYAC conference play against SUNY Plattsburgh on Friday, Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Walker said the team is trying to focus on improving the areas that have been weaker in their first few games of the season in order to be ready for conference games. This includes rebounding, defensive rotations and overall communication, she said.

“We’re just trying to learn from the mistakes we made in the last game against Mount Saint Mary,” she said. “We’re just going to try and sharpen up the areas we need to in order to be able to compete at a high level against some really good conference teams.”

Seward said regardless of what happens Friday, whether it is a big win or suffering a tough loss, they need to come back ready to play on Saturday.

“Going back up there [to Plattsburgh] and knowing how important it is to get off on the right foot and get off to a strong start in conference play,” he said. “Both teams understand that. We’re going to have to play very well. We’ll certainly have to play our best game of the season to have a chance to even be competitive, let alone win. We’re going to really have to bring our top-level performance on both nights to have a chance to go out there and win.”

About Melissa Kramer 157 Articles
Melissa Kramer is a fourth-year journalism major who lives for sports and music.