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January 30, 2016

Hawks sweep hinders weekend for Dragons

hoopsJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
SUNY Cortland’s Jennifer Deuel, right, heads down the court on a fast-break in the third quarter chased by New Paltz’s Courtney Irby at Corey Gym.

Coming off crucial wins the previous night at this same Corey Gymnasium home court locale, SUNY Cortland basketball teams could not carry that momentum over into Saturday afternoon success.
Cortland women had a reversal of roles in losing the opening game of this SUNY Athletic Conference matinee with New Paltz, the visiting Hawks going on a 22-6 run over the final seven minutes to emerge 73-63 victors.
The previous evening, Cortland had been the strong finisher while closing with a 17-5 scoring spurt over the final five minutes to knock Oneonta out of first place with a 67-55 triumph.
New Paltz men then shot 54 percent from the floor — with senior Keegan Donovan out of nearby Groton Central pouring in 20 points during his productive 22-minute stint off the Hawks’ bench, including shooting 3-of-5 from 3-point range — to conquer Cortland 80-74.
Though still tied for third place with Oneonta in the league standings, having knocked off Oneonta 79-74 the previous evening, Cortland lost ground to league leader Plattsburgh while being unable to sweep both games against the Hawks this season.
Cortland had handled New Paltz with 81-50 ease back on Jan. 5 in the Hawks’ home floor.
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CORTLAND WOMEN had held off a late New Paltz rally for a 69-63 win in a previous meeting to start off second semester play. This time around, the Red Dragons turned a 37-30 halftime deficit into a 52-46 lead heading into the fourth quarter when the Hawks regained control with a 27-point final act.
The contest left both Cortland and New Paltz with 7-3 third place conference and 12-5 overall records.
Cortland was still up by six at 57-51 on a Stephanie Rice 3-pointer with 7:33 remaining. At that point, New Paltz scored eight straight points, including four by Courtney Irby and three by Jasmine Bryant, to take a 59-57 lead.
Cortland answered with baskets by forwards Alyssa Crosby and Danielle Levine to regain the lead at 61-59 with 3:55 left, but Bryant’s old-fashioned three-point play at the 3:19 mark gave the Hawks a 62-61 advantage.
The teams traded baskets on their next possessions, with Crosby’s jumper briefly giving Cortland the lead before New Paltz’s Kit Small answered with a layup at the 2:35 mark. Bryant’s steal and easy layup extended the margin to three, and an Irby layup with 1:25 left put New Paltz up 68-63.
Cortland missed two shots on its next trip up the court, and Bryant sealed the win with a 3-pointer from the left corner with 33 seconds remaining.
Irby led New Paltz with 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting, 16 of those points coming in the second half after she experience foul trouble. Bryant added 19 points off the bench on 6-of-9 shooting, 3-of-6 from 3-point range.
The Hawks also had Colleen Ames connect on three 3-pointers while ending up with 12 points.Crosby led three double-figure Cortland scorers with 17 points and also paced the Red Dragons with seven rebounds. She made 8-of-12 shots from the field. Rice had a trio of treys during a 15-point performance, while Jennifer Deuel finished with 10 points, six rebounds, three steals and a career-best seven assists.
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CORTLAND MEN fell to a New Paltz team that made 10-of-21 shots beyond the 3-point arc. Nick Paquette had a handful of treys during a 21-point showing while also grabbing nine rebounds as the Hawks won for only the second time in 10 conference contests, improving to 3-13 overall.
Donovan added five assists to his 20 points, and shot 6-of-10 for the game.
New Paltz made its first three 3-point attempts to take an early 9-1 lead. Cortland eventually took a lead but headed into halftime down 37-31.
The New Paltz lead grew to 11 points on an Andrew Seniuk layup less than five minutes into the second half, and was still 11 with 8:22 left at 58-47 on a Seniuk jumper.
Cortland clawed back to within four points at 65-61 on an Blair Estarfaa 3-pointer with 3:07 on the clock, but Paquette answered with a 3-pointer of his own less than 30 seconds later.
Donovan’s 3-pointer with 1:03 left gave the Hawks a 74-65 lead. Cortland guard TJ Hefele hit a 3-pointer with 53 seconds left and, after one New Paltz free throw, Michael Kelly nailed a trey with 25 seconds remaining to make it a four-point game.
New Paltz’s RJ Rosa hit one foul shot with 23 seconds left, and after Cortland missed a 3-pointer, Paquette put the game away with two free throws at the 15-second mark.
Kelly came off the bench to lead Cortland with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Hefele reached double figures with 10 points, while Blair Estarfaa, Carrel Joseph, Justin Cooper and JP Reagan each added nine points apiece.
Cortland clubs are on the road Tuesday, traveling to Brockport in conference play. The women get things going at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men at 7:30 p.m.

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