NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – Four players reached double-digits, but it was not enough as the Oswego State women’s basketball team (11-11, 6-9 SUNYAC) fell to New Paltz, 73-62, Saturday afternoon. The Hawks (15-8, 13-3 SUNYAC) shot 50 percent from the floor in the second half to erase a two-point halftime deficit. Lauren Nunziato (So., West Sand Lake, N.Y.) poured in a team-high 17 points behind a 4-for-6 performance from three-point range.
Oswego State finds itself in a three-way tie for sixth place with three games to play. The Lakers return to Max Ziel Gymnasium for the final three games of the regular season starting on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. against Geneseo.
Both offenses struggled in the early goings, as both teams were tied at 12 midway through the stanza. New Paltz scored three straight layups to take an 18-12 lead. However, the Oswego State defense limited the Hawks to one basket in the final 5:49 of the half to climb back into the contest, and take a 27-25 advantage into the break when Meagan Stover (Jr., Lake George, N.Y.) made two of her 12 points as time expired.
Early in the second half, the home team tallied nine unanswered points to go ahead 36-29 before a three-pointer from Jenna Rossi (Sr., Phoenix, N.Y.) stopped the string 4:28 into the frame. The margin was steady over the next five minutes until free throws by Zoe Cohen and Alex McCullough gave New Paltz a double-digit lead for the first time in the game.
Nunziato nailed a three after receiving a pass from Kayla Ryan (Sr., Schaghticoke, N.Y.) with five minutes to play to pull the Lakers to within seven points at 58-51, but Oswego State did not get any closer the rest of the way.
In addition to Nunziato and Stover, Rossi and Ryan added 11 points apiece with Rossi handing out four assists. Maliqua Fisher paced New Paltz with 19 points followed by Shanay Bradley’s 12 points and eight boards. McCullough and Kaitlin Clifford also finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
It was not a cleanly played game, as the squads combined for 43 turnovers. However, the Hawks offset that by shooting nearly 40 percent from the field and nearly 81 percent from the free throw line, which was more than 20 percent above their season average. Oswego State ended the game shooting 37.3 percent from the floor and 63.2 percent from the charity stripe.
New Paltz also benefited from a boost off the bench, as the Hawk reserves outscored their counterparts, 47-19.