Cortland Women Pull Away in Fourth Quarter for 61-51 SUNYAC-Opening Win vs. Brockport

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CORTLAND, N.Y. – Cortland opened the fourth quarter on a 14-0 run to turn a one-point deficit into a double-digit lead and the Red Dragons defeated Brockport, 61-51, to open SUNYAC play at Corey Gymnasium.

Kristy Vitucci (Deer Park) led Cortland with 18 points, 13 in the second half, and Shannon McGuire (West Babylon) scored all 10 of her points after intermission to lead the Red Dragons (2-2, 1-0 SUNYAC). Vitucci hit 3-of-4 shots from 3-point range and was 3-for-3 from the foul line. McGuire was a perfect 6-for-6 on her free throw attempts.

Justine Crespo (Monroe/Monroe-Woodbury) finished with nine points, 11 rebounds and three blocks and Meghan Flanagan (Rochester/Brighton) posted career highs of eight points and five rebounds. Katie Carey (Greene) grabbed seven rebounds, while McGuire, Flanagan and Shelby Dugan (Watervliet) had five rebounds each.

Emily Nestler led Brockport (2-4, 0-1 SUNYAC) with 12 points and Julianna Taylor scored 11 points. Bailey Pratt added nine points and Allison Cheira contributed seven points, five rebounds and four steals off the bench.

The first quarter started with an 8-0 Cortland run over four minutes, followed by a 10-0 Brockport streak to end the period. Cortland led 18-13 with just under four minutes left in the half, but the Golden Eagles closed to within 20-19 on a Nestler layup just before the buzzer. Brockport held a six-point lead twice in the third quarter but was up only 36-35 at the end of the stanza.

Vitucci scored Cortland's first five points of the fourth on a layup and a 3-pointer, followed by a Flanagan layup and a Vitucci jumper. Shana Crespo's (Monroe/Monroe-Woodbury) jumper with 6:53 left extended the lead to 10, and Alaina Lynch (Staten Island/Staten Island Tech) buried a 3-pointer with 6:22 remaining to give the Red Dragons a 49-36 lead. The Lynch trey came after Dugan made a leaping save on a missed shot heading out of bounds to keep possession for the Red Dragons.

Cortland led 55-40 on two McGuire free throws with 4:09 left. Brockport made a final push with a 9-1 run over the next two minutes, capped by 3-pointers from Allison Chiera and Pratt to cut Cortland's lead to seven. The Red Dragons, however, held Brockport off the board until the final second of the game. Lynch hit a foul shot with 1:47 left and McGuire hit four charity tosses in the final 50 seconds to put away the game.

Cortland will host nationally 23rd-ranked Geneseo in league play Saturday at 2 p.m.