January 25, 2016

SUNYAC women's basketball: Cortland rallies for eighth straight win

OSWEGO — Having not played in a week, the SUNY Cortland women’s basketball squad was a bit rusty and faced a double-digit first half deficit while chasing after an eighth consecutive victory Saturday afternoon.
With the help of some harassing full-court defensive pressure, the Red Dragons were able to turn things around emphatically while overtaking host Oswego for an 80-69 SUNY Athletic Conference victory.
Forcing the Lakers into 19 turnovers on their Max Ziel Gymnasium home floor and having senior guard Caysea Cohen lead a balanced scoring effort with 18 points, Cortland improved to 6-1 in the conference and 11-3 overall.
The Red Dragons are a mere half-game behind Oneonta (7-1) in the SUNYAC standings with a crucial week against conference contenders upcoming. After making up a game at Geneseo on Tuesday night, Coach Jeannette Mosher’s squad will host Oneonta Friday night at New Paltz Saturday afternoon.
Cohen connected on 8-of-9 free throws and also grabbed six rebounds in this Cortland victory.
While forward Stephanie Rice added 14 points including a pair of 3-pointers for the Red Dragons, fellow forward Danielle Levine had a huge game. The 5-foot-11 junior of of Sachem North on Long Island matched her career high with nine rebounds, had a career-high of four steals, handed out three assists and made 5-of-10 shots while reaching 10 points.
Cortland also had forward Alyssa Crosby come off the bench to added 10 points and five rebounds, shooting 5-of-8 from the floor, while Kerry McHugh also provided a first half spark in the comeback and scored four points and handed out four assists to share the team lead in that department with fellow guard Cassidy Chapko.
Taylor Miller led the Cortland defense with a team-high five steals.
Oswego (1-7 SUNYAC, 3-12 overall) actually had an 11-point lead on four different second quarter occasions, the last at 43-32 after a Mary Mazzella layup with 4:11 left before halftime.
Cortland, however, finished the half on a 9-0 run to pull within 43-41 at the break. Chapko started the run with a 3-pointer, and Levine closed the streak with a put-back as the half expired.
The Red Dragons scored the first seven points of the second half to take a 48-43 lead. The Lakers were within four points with 4:36 left in the third before Cortland rattled off seven straight on a Rice 3-pointer, two Cohen free throws and a Levine jumper.
Cortland led by a dozen after three quarters and by as much as 18 in the fourth.
Taylor Sorell had 21 points for Oswego, most of that coming on 7-of-12 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. Courtney Amelee had 19 points and six rebounds, Mazella 13 points and seven rebounds and Zana Zillard got her hands on 10 rebounds or the Lakers.

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