New Paltz Hawks Earn 63-53 Win Over Oneonta

By Monica D’Ippolito

ONEONTA – The State University of New York at New Paltz closed out its series with rival SUNY Oneonta Saturday and came away with a 63-53 win at Dewar Arena.

The offense was led by seniors Brianna Fitzgerald and Jenny Walton who combined for 45 of the Hawks’ 63 points on the night with the team shooting nearly 43 percent on the day.

SUNY New Paltz trailed after the first quarter, 14-10 but worked its way back midway through the second with Fitzgerald earning a pair of free throws to push her team ahead, 19-18. After a defensive stand on a block by Fitzgerald, Walton picked up the defensive board on the loose ball and then drained a shot from the perimeter to extend the lead.

Fitzgerald capped the 6-0 run with a bucket underneath the basket off a feed by Julia Sabatino. Walton gave the Hawks a seven-point advantage with less than a minute remaining on another make from behind the arc off an assist by Madison Mullman, but the Red Dragons had the last say of the half, scoring on its final possession to cut the score to 29-24 at the break.

The Hawks went on a 9-0 run to start the second half to earn their first double-digit lead of the game as Walton dropped five-straight points before Abby Korzekwinski and Fitzgerald knocked down back-to-back shots in the paint to bring the lead to 38-28 with about 6:30 left.

Walton brought the advantage to 12 after hitting in the paint following a defensive stop on the opposite end, but the Red Dragons ended the quarter strong, as a 6-0 run cut the score to 45-41 with less than a minute left. Korzekwinski re-upped the six-point lead though, as she got her attempt to go before the quarter buzzer sounded.

Fitzgerald helped SUNY New Paltz to a 55-45 lead midway through the quarter and then re-established the 10-point cushion with less than four minutes to go on a basket in transition. Oneonta answered with a trip to the line, but the Hawks went to Korzekwinski on the block who connected for two off a dish by Sabatino to once again create a 10-point difference.
SUNY New Paltz anchored down defensively in the final three minutes, holding the Red Dragons to just one made basket as it built on its lead to hold on for the 63-53 win, earning the series sweep over its Catskill Cup rival.

The Hawks guarded the perimeter well, as they blanked the Red Dragons from 3-point range, finishing 0-for-6 while making just 38 percent from the floor.

Fitzgerald led all scorers with 24 points on 9-for-19 shooting with a team-high eight rebounds, three assists, three blocks and a steal. Walton followed with 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting, including 4-for-5 from 3-point range with five rebounds. Korzekwinski rounded out the offense for SUNY New Paltz, finishing with 10 points on 5-for-9 from the floor with four rebounds and an assist.

The win improved the Hawks to 20-3 on the season, marking their fifth-straight 20-win campaign, while boosting their record to 15-1 in the SUNYAC. With Cortland losing Friday and Saturday, SUNY New Paltz officially clinched the top seed in the conference tournament for the second straight year with the championship officially running through the Hawk Center Feb. 23-24.

The Hawks will conclude their 2024 regular season next weekend against Plattsburgh and Potsdam.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email