Hawk Women's Basketball Races Back to Win OT Thriller over Stevens, 76-69

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NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – For the fifth time in six games, the State University of New York at New Paltz women's basketball team (6-0, 2-0 SUNYAC) erased a halftime deficit, this time to  defeat Stevens Institute of Technology (3-3) in overtime, 76-69, in a non-conference matchup on Tuesday at the Hawk Center.
Trailing 31-27 at the half, the Hawks rallied to tie just over a minute into the second half with four points from junior forward Jeanette Scott (West Babylon, N.Y./North Babylon). The Hawks held the lead for much of the half, but the visiting Ducks took a four-point lead with just under three minutes remaining. Freshman forward Michelle Valle (New York, N.Y./Manhattan Center for Science/Mathematics) and freshman guard/forward Jennifer Sixsmith (Plainview, N.Y./St. Anthony's) combined for four points with 1:39 to go to knot things up at 57. Neither team was able to score before the end of regulation, pushing the contest into overtime.
The Hawks never trailed in the extra period, kicking things off with a jumper by Valle and soaring out to a five-point lead with 2:27 remaining. Stevens was forced to foul, which helped the Hawks push their lead to seven to close out the game.
Senior guard Kahsyrah Bryant picked up her second double-double in three games on Tuesday, scoring 16 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Valle joined her with 11 points and 14 boards for the first double-double of her career. Sixsmith added 15 points, while Scott and junior guard Alyssa Gratien (Syracuse, N.Y./Jamesville-DeWitt) each contributed 11 in the win. Freshman guard Shannan Walker (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) dished out a career-best six assists.
Stevens led for the majority of the first half, but never pulled out to a lead greater than seven points. In that half, the Ducks shot 41.4 percent from the field compared to 28.1 percent for the Hawks.
Stevens was led by Avis Benjamin, who topped all scorers with 29 points. She added 10 rebounds to pick up a double-double, while Dylan Krause earned one of her own with 11 points and 10 boards. Miranda Ripkin also played a big role on Tuesday, scoring 18 points and pulling down eight rebounds.
The Hawks were outshot from the field on Tuesday, shooting 31.5 percent to the Ducks' 38.8. However, they were much better from the charity stripe, making 68.8 percent of their free throws to only 58.3 percent for Stevens.
The Hawks return to action on Friday, Dec. 7, when they host The College at Brockport in a State University of New York Athletic Conference showdown. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m. from the Hawk Center.