Alex Park, Managing Editor
Former Oneonta Red Dragon, Caysea Cohen, opened up the game with a three-pointer and continued to make a living from behind the arc, but the Oneonta defense proved to be too much for her and the rest of the Cortland Red Dragons down the stretch as Oneonta took the victory 63-55, avenging their late January loss.
The Oneonta defense clamped down for most of the game, committing just 12 fouls for the game, three being shooting fouls. It was a team effort, led by senior Lyteshia Price, who recorded four blocks, all within the first half. Oneonta proved why they were the second best defensive team in the SUNYAC by holding Cortland to just 10-34 shooting in the first half. Cohen was responsible for six of those field goals.
When it came down to crunch time, Oneonta’s defense continuously stifled the Cortland offense, as it did much of the game. While Cortland managed to come within striking distance, Oneonta’s perfect free throw shooting in the fourth quarter allowed them to control the lead down the stretch with key makes made by Price, senior Brynn Loomis, and sophomore Samantha Lisikatos.
The win propels Oneonta to 15-6 overall and 11-4 in the SUNYAC, while Cortland falls to 8-6 in SUNYAC play.
It was a true defensive battle at the beginning of the game as both teams combined to start the game 2-10 from the field. A healthy combination of man-to-man and zone defense demoralized the Cortland offense through the first half. It was Oneonta’s offense that got going first. Three-pointers by Price, junior Cara Adams, and freshman Teresa Anken gave Oneonta a five-point lead going into intermission.
The second half proved to be the same story for the Cortland offense as the Oneonta defense continued to disrupt their offensive sets. However, an 8-0 run by Cassidy Chapko gave Cortland their first lead since the first half. That didn’t last very long however, as the two teams continued to trade baskets for the rest of the quarter and through much of the fourth.
The turning point of the game occurred with five minutes left to go in the final quarter. An all-around defensive effort by Oneonta forced the only shot clock violation of the game, which marked the beginning of the end for Cortland.
An Adams three-pointer gave Oneonta a 49-46 lead with Price scoring an easy bucket the next possession to push the lead to five. That was all they needed as Oneonta went 10-10 FT down the stretch to put the game away. It was an impressive game all-around by these Red Dragons.
Stats of the Game
Cohen recorded 19 points (6-19 FG), three rebounds, one assist, and five turnovers. Chapko had 13 points (5-15 FG), two rebounds, three assists, and four turnovers.
Cortland was outscored by Oneonta three out of the four quarters and allowed 18 points off turnovers.
Price stuffed the stat-sheet with 19 points, seven rebounds, three assists, six turnovers, four blocks, three steals. Loomis notched a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) to go along with seven assists. Adams scored 18 points, with all of her shots coming from long-distance (6-13 3PT).