February 26, 2014
Red Dragons find third time a charm
Women move on knocking off nemesis Oneonta
ONEONTA — With junior Erin Wolstenholme providing a team-high 16-point homecoming helping hand, SUNY Cort-land women are now moving on in the conference basketball playoffs.
The fifth-seeded Red Dragons avenged two regular season losses to fourth-seed Oneonta by pulling away in the second half for a 67-58 victory in Tuesday’s SUNY Athletic Conference quarterfinal round match-up.
Oneonta had won both regular season contests by 72-65 and 51-32 margins, and led 34-32 at halftime in this third meeting on its Dewar Arena home court before the visitors took over after intermission.
The victorious Red Dragons (16-10) will next travel to face top-seed Plattsburgh (20-5) in Friday’s semifinal round. Coach Jeannette Mosher’s squad will hope to accomplish what Oneonta was unable to get done — beating a team three times in one season.
Cortland is responsible for two of the three losses suffered by the Cardinals in conference play this winter, winning 73-63 and 78-51. The latter lopsided win came on Feb. 14 in Plattsburgh.
While Oneonta native Wolstenholme made 3-of-5 shots from 3-point range while grabbing seven rebounds to lead the Red Dragons, it was the offensive spark provided by junior Phoebe Byrnes that also boosted this Cortland upset.
The Red Dragons were down 27-21 with 6:56 left in the first half, but crept to within 34-32 by the time halftime arrived. The Red Dragons then opened the second half on a 19-8 run that featured a pair of 3-point connections by Byrnes and five points from senior forward Grace Williamson to take a 51-42 lead with 10:32 remaining.
Oneonta closed back within four at 51-47 on two Grace Schilling free throws with 9:07 left, but Cortland responded with two Megan Touhey free throws, a Sarah Seger foul shot and a Wolstenholme three-point play on a drive to go up 57-47 with 7:04 left.
The lead grew to 64-51 on two free throws by point guard Caysea Cohen free throws with 3:26 left. Oneonta cut the margin to eight with 1:08 left but got no closer.
Southpaw Byrnes, out of Binghamton, shot 3-of-9 from 3-point range as part of her 14-point contribution off the bench. Sophomore point guard Cohen and senior forward Touhey added 12 points apiece, while Williamson finished with seven points, a game-high 13 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.
Oneonta (18-8) was led by Alyshia Crawford with 26 points and eight rebounds. Schilling recorded 11 points and four assists and center Sarah Longto led the squad with nine rebounds.
For the second straight season, Oneonta was ousted in the playoffs on its home court in the opening round.
Cortland shot 35 percent overall, but hit 39 percent (11-of-28) of its 3-pointers. The Red Dragons were also 16-of-22 (73 percent) from the foul line. Oneonta shot 31 percent overall, but connected on only 13 percent of its 3-pointers (2-of-16).
Plattsburgh will host the semifinals and Saturday’s 4 p.m. title game as the top seed.
Second-seeded Buffalo State (19-6) and third-seeded Geneseo (20-6) will meet in the first semifinal game at 6 p.m., Cortland and Plattsburgh to follow at 8 p.m..
In the other quarterfinal round contest last night, Geneseo defeated sixth-seed Fredonia 55-52 in dramatic fashion, as sophomore guard Dana Cohan hit a pair of 3-point shots over the final 38 seconds of play including the game winner just before the final buzzer blared.
Sophomore center Allison McKenna had 14 points and nine rebounds, while junior forward Shannon McGinnis added 11 points and eight rebounds, for the third-seeded Knights.
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