Derek Dimino, Staff Writer |
This past weekend the Oneonta Red Dragons Basketball teams took on the Brockport Golden Eagles to further establish their positioning in the SUNYAC playoffs.
The fourth place women’s Oneonta Basketball team (10-6 Conf., 13-10) took on the sixth place Golden Eagles (7-9, 8-15) in an effort to gain back traction in the conference after two consecutive losses.
In the first half of the game, Oneonta struggled to find a hotspot from the field. No Oneonta player was able to hit more than two shots in the half. This lack of scoring gave Brockport an early second quarter lead, in which Oneonta was stuck playing catch up the rest of the game.
Coming into the second half with Brockport ahead by six points, Oneonta took more time finding the right shots, for which they were rewarded. Their shooting percentages from the field significantly increased while their percentages from the perimeter more than doubled. Led by Sara DiPasquale with 10 boards, Oneonta out-rebounded SUNY Brockport 49-46. Alexa Amalbert and Kathryn Polletta led the team in scoring, each finishing with 13 points.
Though the Red Dragons put on a good second half offensive performance, it was not enough to cover the spread Brockport built on each quarter. With team scoring leader Cara Adams out for the season with a fractured foot, the Red Dragons were missing an essential perimeter presence. With Adams in the game, the Red Dragons would probably have scored more than just the 12 points in the paint they were able to manage against Brockport. At the fourth quarter buzzer, the Red Dragons were bested 66-53.
Fresh off a win over Geneseo, the men’s team (11-5, 14-9) went up against second place Brockport (13-3, 18-5). Both Oneonta and Brockport have already clinched positions in the playoffs, yet an Oneonta win would tie them for second place with first-round bye implications heading into the last two games of the regular-season.
Between turnovers and questionable calls/no-calls by the referees, Oneonta men’s basketball was forced to play from behind for the majority of the game. Almost entirely surviving on the paint presence of Lawrence Coleman, the first half was firmly controlled by the Golden Eagles, leading into the half 37-31.
The Red Dragons came out of the half on fire, tying up the game within five minutes thanks to continued paint success from Coleman and Mikey McElroy. Momentum waivered back and forth, yet the Brockport lead was never relinquished. Even a late-game run to close the gap where Frankie Kelly drained two field goals, a pair of free throws and added an assist could not give Oneonta the footing they needed to hurdle Brockport.
After a dramatic last second shot that would have tied the game from Frankie Kelly hit the rim then backboard and bounced out, the Red Dragons 89-86 loss was cemented. While Oneonta showed some of their best work in the paint and from the free throw line so far this season, Brockport’s evident depth and the turnover differential was insurmountable. Coleman finished with a double-double on the game with 30 points and 13 rebounds, both of which were season highs.
Coming up on Friday February 17, the Red Dragons will go up against SUNY Potsdam to cushion their record in the SUNY Athletic Conference. Potsdam’s men’s and women’s teams are already eliminated from playoff contention, but can still wreak havoc for the Red Dragons as far as seeding goes. With only two conference wins this season between the Potsdam men’s and women’s Basketball teams, this will be a good opportunity to go through the motions before the playoffs begin.
Following Potsdam, Oneonta will match up against SUNY Plattsburgh. While it is still a long shot for Plattsburgh to be granted a February 21 playoff appearance, they are still in the hunt. The men’s team is fighting for one of the last two spots. While only one game behind the cut for the playoffs, the women’s team is trying to fill the final spot, and with only two games left, this game will be as important as any for Plattsburgh’s season.