OSWEGO, N.Y. – Senior Kassie Kleine (Cazenovia, N.Y.) paced the Oswego State women’s basketball team (16-7, 10-6 SUNYAC) with 15 points, but it was her ninth rebound of the game that helped the Lakers come away with a thrilling 47-46 win against Oneonta (12-12, 9-8) Tuesday night. The victory not only clinched Oswego State’s 12th consecutive conference playoff berth, but also gave the Lakers their first series sweep over the Red Dragons since the 2006-07 season.
Oswego State held a one-point lead with 21 seconds to play and the ball following a pair of Oneonta free throws by Kristin Pappalardo. The Red Dragons had a foul to give before putting the Lakers in the bonus, which allowed a couple extra seconds to win off the clock. Oswego State missed the front end of the 1-and-1 as Lyteshia Price came down with the rebound with 17 seconds left in regulation. Oneonta called timeout to draw up a play that gave it two looks under the basket before Kleine was able to come away with the defensive board with 1.4 seconds on the clock when she was fouled.
Kari Kipper (Sr., Loudonville, N.Y.) set the offensive tone for the home team early, as she scored eight of Oswego State’s first 11 points in the first seven minutes before suffering an injury that did not allow her to play the rest of the half. On the next trip up the floor, Alyshia Crawford hit a trey to make the score 11-9 in favor of the Lakers.
Kleine stepped up, though, to drain four of her five first-half three-pointers to fuel the Oswego State offense until a Jenn Robbins (Jr., Geneva, N.Y.) long-range shot gave the Lakers their largest lead of the game at 28-20 with 3:47 left in the stanza. Oneonta went on to score the final six points of the frame, as head coach Tracy Bruno’s squad took a 28-26 advantage into the locker room.
The second half was a seesaw battle that saw the Red Dragons tie the game on three separate occasions, but never take the lead as Oswego State had an answer for every Oneonta challenge. Both squads to score down the stretch with the Lakers stuck on 45 points for nearly five minutes until the team’s leading scorer, Meagan Stover (Sr., Lake George, N.Y.), sank a pair of free throws for her only two points of the night.
Kipper joined Kleine in double figures with 13 points, as she saw limited time in the second half, while Evelyn Josbena (Sr., Solvay, N.Y.) hauled down 11 boards for her third straight game with double-digit rebounds. Robbins finished the game with eight points and three assists off the bench.
Kelly Mulligan paced the Red Dragons with 11 points off the bench followed by Lyteshia Grace, who fell one rebound short of a double-double at ten points and nine boards.
Prior to the game, the program recognized the contributions of its five seniors: Taryn Smith (Sr., Ontario, N.Y.), Josbena, Kipper, Kleine, and Stover, as it was Senior Night at Max Ziel Gymnasium as well.
Oswego State looks to clinch the No. 3-seed in the SUNYAC Tournament with a win at either Potsdam on Friday or at Plattsburgh on Sunday.