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January 15, 2011

 

Dragons respond to first league loss

Patten nets 20 in rout of Cardinal

BasketballBob Ellis/staff photographer
Jennifer Patten of SUNY Cortland drives in for a layup against SUNY Plattsburgh Friday at Cortland. Patten’s career-high 20 points sparked a 78-47 Red Dragons win.

By ALAN BUTLER
Sports Editor

Still smarting from their first conference basketball loss, SUNY Cortland women responded pretty well on Friday night.
With senior forward Jennifer Patten’s career-high 20 points leading a group of five players in double figures, the Red Dragons recovered nicely from that stumble and overwhelmed visiting Plattsburgh 78-47.
It was a good way to soothe the memory of a 59-54 loss at New Paltz earlier in the week, as defending champion Cortland improves to 4-1 in the SUNY Athletic Conference and 9-2 overall before finishing off a busy week by hosting Potsdam this afternoon at 2 p.m. on this same Corey Gymnasium floor.
“We got off to a slow start in the New Paltz game, I think, and this was a big win for us getting out and running the floor. We needed a game like this,” said Patten after Cortland put together its second highest point total of the season.
Junior forward Micki Volpini, behind some 13-of-13 free throw shooting perfection, added 19 points to the winning cause. Junior point guard Brittany Cohen had 12 points and five steals, junior Molly Byrne 10 points and five assists and senior Jen Polan tossed in 10 points off the bench.
The visiting Cardinals shot just 25 percent from the floor, too, against Cortland’s man-to-man defensive effort while falling to 1-4 in conference play and 4-7 overall.
“We just needed to make sure we bounced back and handled the pressure, make sure our body language was positive and that we had some energy. So that was the main thing, and I think we had it,” said Cortland coach Jeannette Mosher. “It took us a while to pull away and I think we’re slowly getting there, but that was a big game for us to bounce back from the other night.”
IT WAS ALSO a big game for Patten, the 5-foot-8 senior forward out of Bainbridge-Guilford High School who came into the game averaging 9.6 points per contest. She made 8-of-9 shots from the floor, the lone miss being a long-distance 3-point air ball, and was at her aggressive best throughout. She blocked a couple of shots, handed out a pair of assists and even took a pair of charges on the defensive end in the second half.
“I just need to step up my game. I haven’t been playing well in the past and I really needed this game for my confidence,” said Patten, who got her night started converting the game’s first basket while working a perfect pick-and-roll with Byrne.
A dozen Patten points came in the first half when Cortland built a 35-22 lead, which grew larger when Cohen opened the second half scoring with a 3-point swish from the corner. Plattsburgh, which got 12 points off the bench from Kathleen Payne and 10 from guard Lindsey Larivee, never put a scare into the Red Dragons from that point on.
The Red Dragons especially made Plattsburgh pay for 24 personal fouls, Cortland making 26-of-31 free throws in the contest led by Volpini’s 13-for-13 aim. The Newfield native was also perfect a year ago when she made all 11 free throws in a win over New Paltz, and was one free throw off the school record for free throws made in a game held by both recently departed all-time school scoring leader Jessica Laing (14-of-16 against Potsdam in 2008-09) and Kiki Seago (14-of-16 against Oswego in 1992-93).
And more good news arrived when New Paltz was handed its first conference last last night by Geneseo 52-52 — Oneonta and Geneseo now the the lone SUNYAC unbeatens.
“MY MAIN CONCERN is rebounding,” was the only Coach Mosher concern afterwards, Plattsburgh with a slight 40-38 edge in that statistical department. “We’re still getting out-rebounded. That’s our big area, I feel. And that obviously leads to the other end, because when we rebound we can get out and run.”
Cortland is still without six-foot junior center Megan Maycumber, the Jamesville-DeWitt alum due to return when the Red Dragons head to Oswego this coming Friday.
“She’s good to go, but we’ve got to ease her back in,” said Coach Mosher of Maycumber, who is recovering from a stress fracture. “It will be the key for us next week going on the road. We have three road games at Brockport and at Oswego and at Oneonta, so that’s going to be huge.”
Patten and junior Mary Bruns, who is also 5-foot-8, are the tallest starters for Cortland at the moment.
“It will be nice when she comes back to get a taller inside player, and a rebounder as well. We need rebounding,” said Patten, after Cortland, as a team, rebounded back into the win column.

 

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