The women’s basketball team bounced back from Friday’s 79-71 loss against Rochester Institute of Technology, winning 92-81 at Vassar College on Tuesday night.
The first half was a fight for the Hawks against Vassar, with 12 lead changes between the two teams. A pair of free throws at the end put New Paltz in front by one, ending the half at 45-44.
With the Brewers taking a seven-point lead in the third quarter, fourth-year guard Rachel Simon started a rally for the Hawks with a jumper and three-pointer while a caused turnover allowed third-year guard Marion Dietz to score as well. New Paltz ended the quarter with a 5-0 run, ultimately entering the fourth with a one-point advantage.
The final quarter was all about stopping Vassar from scoring, and the Hawks succeeded. With foul shots and teamwork, New Paltz never allowed the Brewers to take the lead again in the fourth, taking a 92-81 win for their first of the season.
“We drove and shot the ball more aggressively tonight, as well as more confidently,” Dietz said. “We didn’t let the little mistakes bother us as much as they did in the first game, and I think that was the main difference between the two games.”
On Nov. 9, the Hawks got off to a rough start with a hard loss against RIT. The game ended with a score of 79-71, after New Paltz and the Tigers were forced into overtime.
The Hawks took the lead in the early first quarter, gaining six points on RIT. The Tigers made their way back to take the advantage over New Paltz, leaving the first quarter with a 20-18 lead.
In the second quarter, RIT amassed an even larger lead over the Hawks, going in front by as many as 12. New Paltz pushed back with a 6-1 run, and ended the first half with a deficit of seven points.
The Hawks came back with a bang in the third quarter, scoring 25 points to the Tigers’ 13 in the period. Fourth-year guard Taylor Howell’s three-pointer started a 6-1 run for New Paltz, allowing Simon’s bank shot to send the game into overtime with a 63-63 tie.
Extra time was when the Hawks faltered and lost the game by eight points. Foul trouble was the culprit, as RIT scored six unanswered points to take the match.
“Of course losing is hard and no one likes to lose, but we took it as a learning experience,” Dietz said. “We’re working on everything we did wrong throughout the game in our practices and for future games.”
Leading the way for the Hawks in points for both games was fourth-year guard Lindsay Bettke, who scored a total of 44 points, racking up six assists and 12 rebounds. Simon followed closely with 40 points while Dietz scored 27 points for her team.
The Hawks are hoping to play hard this year, coming off of a tough loss in the semifinals last season.
“We are extremely confident going into this season, and have a huge chip on our shoulder from last year,” Dietz said. “Losing in the SUNYAC semifinals was a huge disappointment, so that really is our fuel for this year. We know we have a national championship caliber team, and now it’s just the daily grind of being that team.”
The Hawks have a two week break before their next game, traveling to Washington D.C. to face Catholic University of America on Nov. 25.