A slow start doomed the Fredonia State women's basketball team as the Blue Devils (4-2, 0-1) fell in the team's SUNYAC opener, 67-56 to New Paltz (4-0, 1-0) on Friday.
"I was not pleased with our play," Fredonia State coach Donna Wise said. "We were not mentally sharp and we weren't playing our style of basketball."
The two SUNYAC foes battled the first 11 minutes to a 10-all score, before the Hawks of New Paltz went on a 9-0 run that covered a three-minute span.
OBSERVER?Photos by Justin Goetz
Fredonia State’s Becky Hebert (23) looks for a shot while being guarded by New Paltz’s Kahsyrah (22) during Friday’s SUNYAC?women’s college basketball game at Steele Hall.?
The Blue Devils struggled on the offensive end as they went 7-19 from the field and just 1-7 from beyond the arc.
"I think our lack of intensity on defense caused us a lack of flow on offense," Wise said. "It was a wake-up call for some of our first-year players. Welcome to SUNYAC basketball."
New Paltz went into halftime with a 35-22 lead and momentum on its side.
The Blue Devils opened up the second half on a 12-4 scoring run to cut their deficit to just five points.
However, the Hawks answered back with a 10-2 run of their own to make it a 13-point difference once again.
One of the biggest reasons for Fredonia State's struggles was rebounding.
"We came into the game averaging the same amount of rebounds as New Paltz," Wise said. "We knew one of the keys to this game was going to be the battle of the boards. We weren't putting bodies on their players and they were getting the rebounds."
The Hawks outrebounded the Blue Devils 44-37, including 20 of them coming on the offensive end.
With 2:43 left in the game, Jenna Austin knocked down a pair of free throws to cut the Hawks' lead, 59-53.
With time running down, Fredonia State was unable to continue to build upon the momentum and New Paltz closed out the game by knocking down six of 10 free throws to make it 67-56 final.
Another downfall for the home team was the fact that they turned the ball over 24 times.
"We did outscore them in the second half," Wise said. "Twenty four turnovers didn't help though. It really killed our flow on offense."
Leading all scorers was Fredonia State's Becky Hebert who charted 23 points while teammate Jaimie Warren had 12 points and eight boards.
The Blue Devils will see their next SUNYAC action today at 2 p.m. as they play host to Oneonta.