Hawks Earn 68-57 Win Over Visiting Brockport

By Monica D’Ippolito
NEW PALTZ – Defense was a point of emphasis going into the weekend for the State University of New York at New Paltz women’s basketball team, and on Friday the Hawks (3-2) came up with stops when it needed, take advantage of caused turnovers and pulled away late against visiting The College at Brockport (2-3) to earn the, 68-57 win.

“We were able to capitalize on some of the turnovers we forced and get enough to get a win,” said SUNY New Paltz coach Jamie Seward. “When you start conference play you really want to get that win at home, especially at home you need to get that win. By whatever way we had to do it, we had to do it. It certainly wasn’t pretty. The defensive effort wasn’t great, but there was some urgency when there had to be.”
The Hawks had two strong defensive possessions to start the game, but the Golden Eagles continued working in the paint and taking advantage on the glass, which led to an early six-point lead after the first quarter. 
“I thought the first two possessions defensively we did a really good job, getting them late in the shot clock, making them take a tough shot and then we stood and watched them rebound it,” Seward said. “We had fouls on the back end after they rebounded it and I think that kind of set the tone. We have to set the tone the other way and be a lot more urgent until it becomes late in the fourth quarter.”
SUNY New Paltz answered after a lack-luster quarter where they let up 19 points and 55.6 percent shooting from the field.
he Hawks started the second with a bucket by Demi Herasme, and continued on a 9-3 run, capped off by a Rachel Simon, who knocked down her shot and earned the foul. After the made free throw the game was knotted for the first time on the night.
Brockport re-gained momentum in the third quarter, as it tied the game at 33 following a made 3 by Bailey Pratt two minutes in, then followed with six-straight points to take a seven point advantage.
SUNY New Paltz kept grinding away, and slowly climbed its way back. The score was stuck at 42-35 in favor of the Golden Eagles for more than two minutes before Marion Dietz‘s free throw cut the deficit. She then ended the quarter with a 3 to shift the momentum back to the Hawks.
“At halftime we were just talking about getting stops and we weren’t getting stops,” Dietz said. “We weren’t grasping the ball on defensive rebounds and so, in the third quarter and fourth quarter we really focused on just grabbing rebounds and all five defensive players crashing the boards.”
The score was tied twice until Lindsay Bettke scored four-straight points on a lay-up and a long two on back-to-back possessions to put SUNY New Paltz up for good.
Niemeyer pretty much sealed the victory with less than a minute to play, after making a great defensive stop on one end and then assisting Simon on the other for a corner 3 to push the advantage at 10.
“In the last 20 minutes of the game or so, [our defense] was definitely much better,” Seward said. “We just got to stop fouling so much. It is killing us, but we did lock in when we needed to late and made it a little more difficult for them.”
Brockport scored 22 of its 57 points from the free throw line, finishing 69 percent from the charity stripe, but SUNY New Paltz caused 21 turnovers and capitalized with 19 points.
“I think what happened is that we stopped getting to the free throw line really, and credit to New Paltz for taking that away,” said Golden Eagles coach Corinne Jones. “They let our shooters take shots and we’re on the road and we weren’t making those in the second half. I just thought we needed to do a better job of carrying over what we did in the first half to the second half.”
Emily Nestler (17), Bailey Pratt (15) and Schyler Laux (13) all finished in double-figures for Brockport, with Nestler falling just a rebound shy of a double-double.
“I think we did well,” Jones added. “We played a couple regional powerhouses the past two games and I think learned a lot of things. It is hard to play on the road in the SUNYAC and I think we were ready to play, which I was really excited about, and we went up really big. And now, we just got to put four quarters together.”
Dietz led the way for the Hawks with 18 points on 6-for-13 shooting from the floor, and three assists. Bettke followed with 16 points, six rebounds and three assists, while Niemeyer and Simon finished with 10 apiece, with Niemeyer adding six boards and an assist.
“A win is a win, and any day in this conference anybody can be anyone, so a win is a win and we’ll take it,” Dietz said. “We’ll learn what we did wrong today and we’ll apply it to tomorrow’s game against Geneseo.”
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