ONEONTA — Turnovers, and lots of them, proved too much to overcome as Plattsburgh State dropped a hard-fought 56-52 decision to Oneonta State in SUNY Athletic Conference women’s basketball action Friday night.
Unlike their earlier meeting when the Red Dragons dominated the second half and won going away, the Cardinals were competitive throughout. But, in the end, Plattsburgh could not make enough plays to overcome a season-high 26 turnovers.
“That was the difference in the game,” said Plattsburgh coach Cheryl Cole. “I thought we played well defensively and did a pretty good job on the boards. But, we just committed way too many unforced turnovers.
“We played hard and gave ourselves a chance, especially in the second half. But you just can’t turn the ball over that many times and expect to win. It’s just not going to happen.”
Oneonta had the edge in play in the early going of a first half dominated by the respective defenses.
The Red Dragons, who also had notable difficulties taking care of the ball with 24 turnovers of their own, made a few more plays went into the break leading by seven, 25-18. Both teams connected on just 32 percent of their attempts in the opening half.
“It was clear, early on, that it was going to be a low-scoring game,” said Cole. “ We had an OK start and both teams were playing well defensively. But, even in the first half, we were turning the ball over way too much and they were turning a lot of those turnovers into points.
“Overall, I thought we were playing with a lot more energy than we have been, but were still committing too many turnovers and in what turned out to be a 4-point game, that’s what ended up being the difference.”
The Cardinals battled back in the second half and squared the contest at 32 on a Kathleen Payne layup with 13:19 left. Payne, who was held scoreless in the opening half, kept Plattsburgh close for the balance of the contest, connecting for a game-high 17 points in the second stanza.
“We played better in the second half and got right back into it, hitting a few threes in the second half. But just didn’t quite make enough plays to pull it out,” said Cole. “We had our chances late but I guess, in the end, they were just a little better team than us on their floor.”
As advertised, the Red Dragons won with tough defense and solid balance on the offensive end of the floor. Grace Schilling and Kristin Pappalardo shared team scoring honors with 14 points apiece and Sarah Longto added an additional 13 to pace Oneonta (9-10, 6-6 SUNYAC).
Plattsburgh (9-10, 5-7 SUNYAC) fought its way back into the game in the second half primarily via the three-point shot, connecting on eight baskets from beyond the arc. Payne led the way, connecting on four-of-11 from 3-point range and Brittany Marshall, who also had a double-digit scoring night with 10 points, and Brooke Reifinger each also added a pair from downtown, to pace the Cardinals.
Plattsburgh now moves on to face SUNYAC-leading New Paltz in its final road game of the regular season this afternoon.
Oneonta 56, Plattsburgh 52
Marshall 4-0-10; Lloyd 4-0-8; Reifinger 2-0-6; Green 2-0-4; Nucaro 1-0-2; Payne 6-1-17; Paul 1-0-2; Coryea 1-0-2; Cassidy 0-1-1; Adedapo 0-0-0; Hart 0-0-0; Lewis 0-0-0. Totals: 21-2-52.
Schilling 5-4-14; Longto 5-3-13; Crawford 3-0-6; Price 1-1-3; Loomis 1-2-4; Pappalardo 4-3-14; Mulligan 1-0-2; Brodhead 0-0-0; Nelson 0-0-0; Cariseo 0-0-0. Totals: 20-12-56.
Halftime: Oneonta 25, Plattsburgh 18.
3-point field goals: PSU (8): Payne 4, Marshall 2, Reifinger 2. Oneonta (4): Pappalardo 3, Price.