Merkel Scores 10 Points Off the Bench in Plattsburgh State Women's Basketball's 51-39 Loss to Oswego

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OSWEGO, N.Y. – Freshman forward Frannie Merkel (Brewster, N.Y./Brewster) scored a team-high 10 points in 11 minutes off the bench, but the Plattsburgh State women's basketball team was unable to overcome Oswego State in a 51-39 State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) setback Saturday afternoon at Max Ziel Gymnasium.
Merkel made her first appearance in the Cardinal lineup since Jan. 7 and maximized her limited time on the floor Saturday, finishing with four rebounds, three blocks and a steal. She now has scored in double figures in nine of her 13 games played this season.
Defense prevailed on Saturday, as Oswego shot 25.8 percent (16-of-62) from the floor in the winning effort, while Plattsburgh State shot 22.2 percent (14-of-63) from the field. The Lakers did, however, go 14-of-20 (70 percent) at the line during the game, which wound up being a key factor in the win. Oswego finished with a 55-48 edge in rebounds, while the two teams combined for just 21 turnovers.
Plattsburgh State drops to 9-12 overall (5-10 SUNYAC) with the loss and next visits SUNY Potsdam on Friday, Feb. 10, at 7:30 p.m. Oswego rises to 7-14 overall (4-10 SUNYAC) with the win and next visits Fredonia on Friday, Feb. 10, at 7:30 p.m.
Oswego led from start to finish in the game, jumping out to a 19-7 advantage and holding a 19-10 lead through one quarter of play. Plattsburgh State clawed back and drew within four points midway through the second quarter following a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Bella DePasquale (Ardsley, N.Y./Ardsley), but Oswego raised its lead back to eight down the stretch in the period and took a 29-22 advantage into the locker rooms.
The Cardinals made a move in the third quarter, with freshman forward Taylor Clare (Peekskill, N.Y./Peekskill) and freshman guard/forward Olivia Souky (Niskayuna, N.Y./Niskayuna) scoring on back-to-back possessions to open the second half. After 6:17 of scoreless action, Oswego netted four unanswered points to take a 33-26 lead, but Merkel drew the Cardinals back within four after converting on an old-fashioned 3-point play. The two teams traded points before a made free throw by Oswego's senior guard Mary Mazzella gave the home team a 35-31 edge heading into the final regulation period.
The Lakers put the game out of reach following a 13-1 tear to open up the fourth quarter, with their largest lead of the contest (16) coming at the tail end of that run.
Beyond Merkel, DePasquale scored eight points—all of which came in the first half—while Clare finished with a game-high-tying and career-high 12 rebounds and a game- and career-high five blocks.
For Oswego, senior forward Heather Hebert posted a double-double with a game-high 22 points and a game-high-tying 12 rebounds. Mazzella reached double figures as well with 10 points and added eight rebounds.