Turnovers hurt Oswego State women’s basketball team

OSWEGO, N.Y. – The Oswego State women’s basketball team (14-7, 8-6 SUNYAC) trailed by two with under five minutes remaining, but New Paltz (19-2, 13-1 SUNYAC) scored the next seven points in a two-minute span to hand the Lakers a 75-66 loss Tuesday night at Max Ziel Gymnasium. The Hawks converted 21 turnovers into 21 points and received 32 points from its reserves to offset a better shooting and rebounding performance from Oswego State.

The Lakers opened the game on fire from downtown, as two treys from Lauren Nunziato (Jr., West Sand Lake, N.Y.) and a long ball from Kari Kipper (Sr., Loudonville, N.Y.) put the home team ahead, 14-8, less than five minutes into the contest.

However, New Paltz turned up the defensive pressure, as it saw itself facing a seven-point deficit. The Hawks forced Oswego State to turn the ball over on its next six trips up the floor, while scoring 15 unanswered points to take a 26-18 lead with ten minutes left in the half.

The Lakers closed out the stanza strong, though, as Nunziato drained a three from the left wing and Jenn Robbins (Jr., Geneva, N.Y.) got a friendly bounce on a baseline jumper to go into intermission trailing 39-37. Oswego State shot 58.3 percent in the frame and had a 19-10 advantage on the boards, but committed 15 turnovers.

The home team faced a nine-point deficit midway through the second half before Evelyn Josbena (Sr., Solvay, N.Y.) found Kipper open for a three-pointer to help the Lakers start chipping away at New Paltz’ lead. Kipper made it a two-point contest on a putback at the right block, prompting the Hawks to call timeout with 4:26 remaining. Following the break, New Paltz rattled off nine straight points as Oswego State never pulled to within fewer than seven.

Meagan Stover recorded her third double-double of the season after tallying 13 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Kipper and Nunziato joined Stover in double figures with 15 and 11 points, respectively.

New Paltz’ Alex McCullough fell one board short of a double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds. Alex Gratien contributed 18 points off the bench, while shooting 4-for-7 from behind the arc. Maliqua Fisher added 16 points followed by Michelle Valle’s ten points.

The Lakers owned a 40-35 rebounding edge, and shot 44.6 percent from the field on 25-of-56 shooting compared to 43.1 percent for New Paltz (25-for-58). However, the visitors made 18 of their 30 free-throw attempts, while Oswego State went 8-for-15 from the charity stripe.

Oswego State travels to Cortland on Friday for a critical conference match-up as both squads sit at 8-6 in SUNYAC play. Tip-off is at 6 p.m.