Cortland Women Lose Senior Night Game to SUNYAC Leader New Paltz

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CORTLAND, N.Y. – New Paltz outscored Cortland 44-19 over the middle two quarters to break open a close game and the SUNYAC-leading Hawks defeated the Red Dragons, 81-57, in women's basketball action.
Prior to the game, Cortland honored seniors Alaina Lynch (Staten Island/Staten Island Tech)Megan Howell (Dundee), Tanna Mohammed (Huntington/Elwood-John H. Glenn), Justine Crespo (Monroe/Monroe-Woodbury), Shelby Dugan (Watervliet), Kristy Vitucci (Deer Park) and Shana Crespo (Monroe/Monroe-Woodbury) who were playing in their final regular-season home game. Joka Oyefeso (Staten Island/Port Richmond) is also a senior on the team but is expected to return to play next season.
New Paltz (19-4, 15-1 SUNYAC) won its 15th straight game and clinched the top seed for next week's SUNYAC tournament. The Hawks are first in the latest NCAA Division III East Region rankings. Cortland dropped to 8-8 in the conference and 12-11 overall. The Red Dragons are currently fourth in the league but in a tight race for the fourth through seventh spots in the standings. Cortland sits a half game ahead of Fredonia (8-9), a game ahead of Plattsburgh (7-9) and two games ahead of Brockport (6-10) with two games remaining this weekend at Geneseo Friday and Brockport Saturday. The top six teams qualify for the SUNYAC playoffs, with the third and fourth-place teams hosting first-round games next Tuesday.
(Shana) Crespo led Cortland with a season-high 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting and she tied her career best with four assists. (Justine) Crespo and Vitucci each scored 10 points, and Vitucci led the Red Dragons with six rebounds.
Rachel Simon and Lindsay Bettke led New Paltz with 15 points each and Marion Dietz scored 13 points. Simon finished 6-of-8 from the field and Bettke made three of her seven 3-point attempts.
Cortland led 7-6 midway through the first quarter and trailed by only two, 17-15, after one quarter. New Paltz, however, shot 64 percent in the second period to start pulling away. Cortland was down 20-18 after a Meghan Flanagan (Rochester/Brighton) layup at the 8:25 mark of the second, but the Hawks went on a 15-0 run over the next four minutes. Philesha Teape scored five points in that stretch, with her layup at the 4:38 mark giving New Paltz a 35-18 lead.
The Hawks led 42-27 at halftime and extended the margin to 27 points at 61-34 after three quarters. Cortland outscored New Paltz 23-20 in the fourth quarter. New Paltz finished the game shooting 55 percent from the field and 44 percent (7-of-16) from 3-point range. Cortland shot 39 percent overall and 47 percent (7-of-15) from the arc.