POTSDAM — Mired in a frustrating three-game losing streak that culminated with a season-low field goal percentage in front of its home faithful, the Plattsburgh State women’s basketball team was looking to rebound by hitting the road to shut down an opposing team on its own floor.
Unfortunately for the Potsdam Bears, they had to absorb the full brunt of this pent-up frustration.
Kathleen Payne led all scorers with 15 points and Plattsburgh outscored the Bears 36-8 in the second half en route to a 73-32 throttling of Potsdam (1-15, 0-9 SUNYAC) at Jerry Welsh Gymnasium on Tuesday.
Plattsburgh (9-7, 5-4 SUNYAC) scorched the nets, shooting 55.4 percent from the field. Plattsburgh also bullied the Bears on the boards, owning a 47-26.
The 41-point margin of victory was the third-largest in program history and the most lopsided win since the Cardinals bested Hilbert by a score of 81-32 to begin the 2007-08 campaign.
“We played well,” Plattsburgh coach Cheryl Cole said. “We made a tremendous focus on our defense after last weekend. We really got after our defense in practice and responded (Tuesday).
“We held them to eight points in the second half. Our defense was really the big focus for us and really propelled us. We had two players dive on the court at the same time, and we just gave that extra effort.”
The battle for North Country supremacy began with Katy Briedis knocking down a three-pointer for the home squad, staking Potsdam to an early 3-0 lead. That advantage, though, was just one of two the Bears would possess in the game.
After Potsdam knotted the score for the final time in the middle of the half, Brittany Marshall and Johni Coryea joined forces to put the Cardinals up for good. Marshall rattled home a triple before Coryea came off the bench to score the next five points for Plattsburgh State, making it a 22-18.
The Cardinals had a 15-6 stretch to close out the first half of play.
Potsdam hit just one field goal in the first 12:32 of the deciding frame and the Cardinals came away with five of their six blocked shots in the final 20 minutes of action. The staunch Plattsburgh State defense limited Potsdam to a miserable 2-of-27 (7.4 percent) mark from the field in the second half.
Marshall was one assist away from a double-double as she passed out a game-high nine to go along with 10 points. Nucaro finished with 12 points and a pair of blocked shots while Brooke Reifinger hauled in a game-high nine rebounds.
Devona Paul and Coryea chipped in eight points each for the Cardinals while the former amassed a game-high three blocked shots. Coryea had a game-high three steals.
“We shared the ball well,” Cole said. “I know we had a good amount of assists and we had a balanced effort. When we have success, it’s a balanced effort.
“It was a good, well rounded game for us and I was really pleased.”
Jessica Kouzan led Potsdam with 14 points.
“It was a good game for us and will hopefully get us back in the right direction heading into the weekend games with Buffalo State and Fredonia,” Cole said. “It’s good to get some momentum and get us understanding ourselves defensively. Hopefully we can carry this over.
“I feel much better than I did two days ago.”
Plattsburgh State 73, Potsdam 32
Plattsburgh State (73)
Nucaro 5-2-12, Marshall 4-0-10, Lloyd 3-0-6, Green 2-0-4, Reifinger 0-0-0, Payne 5-3-15, Paul 4-0-8, Coryea 3-0-8, Lewis 3-0-6, Adedapo 2-0-4, Hughes 0-0-0. Totals: 31-5-73.
Kouzan 5-2-14, Briedis 4-0-9, Russell 2-0-4, Kmiecinski 0-0-0, Wall 0-0-0, Akingba 1-1-3, LaVoie 1-0-2, McNamara 0-0-0, Reynolds 0-0-0, Addison 0-0-0. Totals: 13-3-32.
Halftime: Plattsburgh, 37-24.
3-point goals: Plattsburgh (6) Marshall2, Payne 2, Coryea 2. Potsdam (3) Kouzan 2, Briedis.