Plattsburgh State Women's Basketball Edged by William Smith, 60-55, in Cruzin Classic Finale

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Despite leading by as many as six points late in the third quarter, the Plattsburgh State women's basketball team fell, 60-55, to William Smith College in its final game at the Cruzin Classic on Monday afternoon at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center. It marked the Cardinals' final game of the 2016 calendar year.
 
William Smith saw a five-point halftime lead evaporate in the early stages of the third quarter, as the Cardinals scored six consecutive points to open the second half. Freshman forward Frannie Merkel (Brewster, N.Y./Brewster) converted on a jumper with 8:07 left in the period to give Plattsburgh State a 29-28 advantage, its first lead of the game. After senior forward Alyssa DiCampli handed the Herons a 30-29 edge on the next possession, Plattsburgh State went on a 9-2 tear, and a 3-pointer sophomore guard Bella DePasquale (Ardsley, N.Y./Ardsley) staked the Cardinals to a 38-32 lead. William Smith netted seven unanswered points to close the third, however, to take a 39-38 cushion into the final regulation period.
 
The two teams battled back and for the first few minutes of the fourth quarter until senior guard Jax Miller (Argyle, N.Y./Argyle) punctuated a 5-1 Plattsburgh State surge with a 3-pointer with 4:01 left to give the Cardinals a 53-52 advantage. After the Herons scored on a layup and went 1-of-2 from the line on their ensuing possession, senior guard Moe Jones (Freeport, N.Y./Freeport) cashed in on a jumper to draw the Cardinals even at 55-all with 2:28 remaining on the clock. William Smith came up with defensive stops and hit free throws down the stretch, however, to come away with the victory.
 
Plattsburgh State drops to 5-5 overall and returns to State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) play on Friday, Jan. 6, when it hosts Fredonia at 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Hall. William Smith rises to 5-2 and takes on No. 8 Wartburg College tomorrow at 12 p.m. to close out its slate at the Cruzin Classic.
 
William Smith took an early 6-0 lead and led by as many as seven points in the first quarter. The Cardinals countered with an 8-2 scoring spree to begin the second stanza, however, and a 3-pointer by Miller knotted the tally at 15-all. Both teams traded baskets until a 3-pointer by DiCampli put William Smith on top, 28-23, heading into the halftime intermission.
 
Plattsburgh State shot 36.2 percent (21-of-58) from the field and 35 percent (7-of-20) from beyond the arc on the game. William Smith finished with a 45-34 edge in rebounding and played well in transition with 11 fast-break points.
 
Miller and Merkel netted 15 points apiece to key the Cardinal attack, while Jones nearly posted a triple-double with a stat line that included 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
 
DiCampli keyed the Heron attack with 14 points, while senior guard Melanie Patterson and sophomore guard/forward Olivia Hughes provided 11 and 10 points, respectively.