GENESEO, N.Y. – Junior Brittney Dumas (Easton, CT/Joel Barlow) scored 18 of her game-high 24 points in the second half as second-seeded Cortland defeated third-seeded New Paltz, 57-48, in the SUNYAC women's basketball tournament semifinals at SUNY Geneseo.
Cortland (21-5) will face top-seeded Geneseo in the championship game 4 p.m. Saturday at Geneseo. Cortland advances to the SUNYAC finals for the 16th time overall, including 11 trips in head coach Jeannette Mosher's 17 seasons, but for the first time since 2010.
Dumas finished 11-of-24 from the field, 8-of-14 after halftime, and hit 2-of-3 shots from the 3-point arc. Senior Rae Frasier (Schenectady) finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and a team-high three assists and sophomore Cassidy Chapko (Valley Falls/Hoosic Valley) scored eight points, including six free throws down the stretch to help seal the win. Senior Lindsey Minor (Wheatley Heights/St. John the Baptist) contributed six rebounds and a team-high four steals along with two assists and four points.
Shannan Walker led New Paltz (18-9) with 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting from 3-point range. Courtney Irby scored nine points and led the Hawks with nine rebounds and Sydney Pinn scored eight points off the bench.
Cortland struggled offensively early, scoring only nine points in the first 12 minutes to trail 15-9. New Paltz took its largest lead at 26-19 on a Pinn 3-pointer with 1:21 left in the half, but junior Shannon White (West Islip/St. Anthony's) hit 2-of-4 free throws and Dumas made a jumper to close the gap to three. New Paltz hit one free throw with 14 seconds left and led 27-23 at halftime.
The Red Dragons were still down four at 35-31 six minutes into the second half before mounting a 16-1 run over an eight-minute stretch. Dumas scored eight points in the run, including a jumper with 6:03 remaining that put Cortland up 47-36.
Walker buried 3-pointers at the 5:10 and 4:40 marks to bring New Paltz back within five at 47-42. Frasier blocked a layup attempt with 3:40 left that would have made it a three-point game, and Dumas' jumper with 3:05 on the clock extended the lead to seven. New Paltz got back to within six twice, the last at 51-45 on two Irby free throws with 2:04 left. Chapko, however, made 6-of-8 free throw attempts in the final 1:40 for the remainder of the Red Dragons' scoring.
Cortland shot 31 percent in the first half, but hit 54 percent of its second-half shots and finished at 42 percent. Conversely, New Paltz made 37 percent of its field goals in the first 20 minutes but was held to 6-of-28 shooting (21 percent) after halftime and finished at 29 percent.