Cortland Women Overcome Fredonia in Second Half, 69-63

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FREDONIA, N.Y. - Cassidy Chapko (Valley Falls/Hoosic Valley) scored all of her game-high 21 points in the second half as Cortland rallied past host Fredonia, 69-63, in a SUNYAC women's basketball matchup.

Cortland improved to 12-11 with its fourth straight victory and is 11-5 in SUNYAC play with two league games remaining. The Red Dragons are currently tied with New Paltz for second place in the conference, a game ahead of Oneonta (10-6).

Cortland will play next Friday at sixth-place Brockport and Saturday at first-place and currently unbeaten Geneseo to close the regular season, and the Red Dragons can finish as anywhere from the second to fifth seed in the SUNYAC tournament depending out outcomes and potential tiebreakers. The second seed earns a bye into the SUNYAC semifinals. The third and fourth seeds host first-round games, and the fifth (and sixth) seeds play on the road in the first round.

Stephanie Rice (Duanesburg) scored a season-high matching 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Red Dragons. Alyssa Crosby (Brier Hill/Hammond) totaled 15 points, six rebounds and three steals, and she tied for the team lead with Taylor Miller (Freeport) with three assists.

Fredonia (16-8 10-7 SUNYAC), which is now in fifth place in the conference, was led by Alexis Cheatham's 21 points and five assists. She made 8-of-16 shots overall and 5-of-12 3-pointers. Jenna Einink scored 11 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists, while Kathryn Halloran and Alisha Szumigala each hauled in six rebounds.

Chapko, a day after scoring a school-record 43 points at Buffalo State, was held scoreless on 0-of-5 shooting in the first half as Fredonia took a 34-28 lead. In the second half, however, Chapko made 8-of-11 shots from the field, with one 3-pointer, and 4-of-5 free throws.

The Red Dragons led 50-49 after three quarters after Chapko's driving layup in the closing seconds of the period. Cortland opened the fourth quarter on a 11-2 run that featured two Kristy Vitucci (Deer Park) 3-pointers and five points by Chapko and led 61-51. Fredonia closed back within five twice, but each time Chapko had a response. her layup with 1:07 left pushed the lead to 65-58, and her three-point play off a driving layup with 15 seconds left sealed the victory.

Each team shot similarly from the field - Cortland at 43 percent overall and 28 percent (5-of-18) from three, and Fredonia 44 percent overall and 35 percent (8-of-23) from the arc. The Red Dragons held a 10-5 advantage on the foul line and committed only eight turnovers, compared to the Blue Devils' 16.