Hawks Improve to 4-1 With Win Over Union College

By Jake Carapella

SCHENECTADY – The State University of New York at New Paltz women’s basketball team extended its win streak to three games and improved to 4-1 on the season with a 10-point victory over Union College Saturday night in Schenectady.

The Hawks, who had won two straight games coming into Saturday’s contest after a 72-63 road win at Misericordia last Saturday, utilized defensive pressure and reeled off a big third quarter, where they outscored the home team 19-10, to secure their fourth win of the season in the 66-56 victory.

Union was the first to crack the scoring column on the evening with a layup by Olivia Pachla, which accounted for two of her six first half points. SUNY New Paltz got its first basket on an Abby Korzekwinski layup on an assist from Maddie Gillis to tie the score at two. The opening quarter went back and forth, as the two sides tied at two different points, 9-9 and 11-11. The Hawks scored the final four points of the quarter in which they pressed well and forced the Dutchmen into eight first quarter turnovers, taking a 15-13 lead going into the second.

The second quarter was more troublesome for SUNY New Paltz, as an 16-13 lead was quickly erased by an 8-2 Union run, led by Pachla’s four points during the two minute, eight second span. Jenny Walton responded for the Hawks, with a nothing but net triple from the top of the arc off a pass from Graci Serravillo, who found Walton from the left side of the floor. The 3-pointer tied the game at 21.

The Dutchmen’s Megan Lee responded with a three pointer moments later that allowed Union to retake the lead, 26-23. One of the highlight plays of the half occurred under the two minute mark, with Gillis jumping the passing lane and getting a nice left handed steal and scoring at the other end to give the Hawks a 29-28 lead. The teams exchanged baskets the rest of the quarter, with Laura Vinton, Venus, and Lee scoring as the Dutchwomen headed into half with a 32-31 lead.

“We definitely didn’t come out as aggressive as we needed to in order to execute the game plan,” said Hawks coach Jamie Seward. “We allowed them to get comfortable and as a result they took it to us.”

Much like she did in the Nov. 13 Hawks win against The College of New Jersey, Brianna Fitzgerald took matters into her own hands and had a great third quarter. She started off the second half with an inside jumper that put her team up 33-32, and then scored on a pretty left-handed reverse to gave SUNY New Paltz a 35-33 lead. Van Vorst hit a 3 to make the score 38-35 Hawks after a Union bucket, and Fitzgerald scored five of the next eight SUNY New Paltz points and they took a 46-40 lead. They went up by eight after Van Vorst got a steal and a layup, and again would lead by eight, 50-42, after Gillis went baseline and finished with her left hand to give SUNY New Paltz the eight point lead that they would take into the final quarter. The Dutchmen quickly got back into the game to begin the fourth, as Lee scored on two layups and Amber Raisner scored two of her 10 points to cut the Hawks lead to two, 50-48 with 7:52 to go.

Fitzgerald struck again almost immediately though, as Gillis found her at the top of the arc and she drained a three that extended the SUNY New Paltz lead to five with just over seven minutes remaining in the game.

After a Darby Leid layup with 6:22 remaining got Union within three at 53-50, SUNY New Paltz made sure its opposition never got closer than that the rest of the way. Fitzgerald hit two free throws to give the Hawks a five point lead, Venus finished a nice hook shot inside, and then Fitzgerald once again, with a left hand layup and another three, in effect ended the Dutchmen’s night as the Hawks led by 10, 62-52, with 3:21 to go.

Fitzgerald finished with a game-high 21 points on 8-for-15 from the field in 26 minutes, while Gillis was the only other Hawk in double figures, as she scored 13 on 6-for-10 shooting in 30 minutes. Van Vorst, who scored nine points, led SUNY New Paltz in steals with five, and Gillis and Venus, the latter who scored six points, finished with three thefts apiece. Three Hawks, Fitzgerald, Venus, and Cassidy Deaver, finished with four rebounds. Venus and Walton each finished with six points.

“Bri is such an important player for us and she was a big contributor to that slow start but was just as big a part of the turnaround in the second half,” Seward said. “She really attacked the basket early in the third and that set the tone.”

Union was led in scoring by Lee, who finished with 19 on a very efficient 9-for-11 shooting. Despite a 37-29 edge on the glass and shooting 48 percent overall for the game, the home team’s 33 percent shooting in the third quarter did them in. Although the Hawks shot 14-for-32 in the second half, for 44 percent, better than the 12-for-31 that they shot in the first two quarters, Seward thought they could have had a more convincing performance.
“We didn’t do enough to put them away and as it turned out we did just enough to get the win,” he said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email