New Paltz Women’s Basketball Advances to SUNYAC Championship with 77-68 Win Over Oneonta

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NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – The State University of New York at New Paltz women's basketball team punched its ticket to the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) championship game as the Hawks defeated SUNY Oneonta, 77-68, Friday evening in the Hawk Center. With the win, the Hawks lead, 18-16, in the 2015-16 Catskill Cup standings.

New Paltz improves to 20-6, 15-4 SUNYAC and looks for its second SUNYAC title in program history as the Hawks face SUNY Geneseo (20-6, 15-4 SUNYAC) in the championship game tomorrow at 4 p.m. Oneonta concludes the season with a 17-10 overall record and a 12-7 record in the SUNYAC.
After a close score in the first quarter, New Paltz pulled away with the lead as senior guard Colleen Ames(Lindenhurst, N.Y./Lindenhurst) launched a jumper before junior guard/forward Kit Small (Slingerlands, N.Y./Academy of the Holy Names) put away a free throw for an 11-4 advantage. The Red Dragons chipped away at the score, cutting the deficit to 11-10 on a layup by senior guard Bryn Loomis but would grab the lead as junior guard Cara Adams drained a 3-point shot at the buzzer.
The Red Dragons held the lead in the start of the second quarter but freshman guard Lindsay Bettke (Pelham, N.Y./The Ursuline School) notched back-to-back threes to level the score to 17-all. Both teams remained locked in a draw until the Hawks pushed a 6-0 run for a 36-28 edge at halftime.
Despite Oneonta's efforts, the Hawks held a 56-49 advantage heading into the final period but the Red Dragons managed to close the gap to five as Loomis landed a jump shot for a 67-62 score. However the Hawks continued to push their lead and eventually clinched the win as New Paltz converted 3-of-3 shots from the line as the clock expired.  
The Red Dragons shot 41.4 percent (24-of-58) from the field to edge the Hawks who shot 40 percent (26-of-65) from the floor. Oneonta collected 26 points in the paint but New Paltz held a 44-31 advantage in rebounds, scored 17 points off turnovers and shot 62.5 percent (10-of-16) from the 3-point range. Both teams concluded the game with 24 bench points.
Four New Paltz players scored double-figures in points for the night. Small paced the team with 19 points, hitting 5-of-9 shots from the floor, 3-of-3 from the 3-point range and 6-of-8 from the line. Junior forward Courtney Irby(Farmingdale, N.Y./Farmingdale) notched a double-double 15 points and 14 rebounds while Ames converted 3-of-4 shots from the 3-point range for 14 points. Bettke tallied 10 points off the bench in the Hawks' efforts.
Loomis topped the Red Dragons with 23 points, hitting 8-of-12 shots from the field and converting 7-of-10 from the line. Adams collected 17 points off the bench while senior guard/forward Lyteshia Price notched 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds in the loss.