Special to the OBSERVER
The Fredonia State women's basketball team saw junior Becky Hebert reach the 1,000-point milestone and used a clutch performance from sophomore Marissa Cussins to down visiting Oswego State, 65-58, on Saturday.
"Becky, she's an exceptional young woman on and off the court," Fredonia State head coach Donna Wise said. "She's very dedicated and complete player. She's always in the gym working on her shot. She's very coachable and humble about her accomplishment. She's a coach's dream."
Photo courtesy of SUNY?Fredonia Athletic Dept.
Becky Hebert scored her 1,000 career point Saturday in a win Saturday over SUNY?Oswego, during women’s basketball action at Steele Hall.
Hebert led all scorers with 28 points, while Cussins added 13 markers and a game-high nine rebounds. Junior Jaimie Warren added 12 points.
The Devils, on the cusp of a post-season berth, upped their conference record to 6-7 and moved to 11-8 overall.
Oswego (14-6, 8-5 SUNYAC) was led by Meagan Stover with 15 points.
Oswego scored in its first four possessions, which included three-straight three pointers to take the early lead. They would lead by as many as 15 early on. The Devils would gradually work their way back into the game, trailing 37-29 at the break, highlighted by 17 first-half points from Hebert.
Both teams had an efficient shooting half with each making 52 percent of its shots - the Devils hitting 12 of 23 while Oswego was good on 15 of 29 field goals. The Devils held a 17-11 advantage on the boards, with the 5'4'' Cussins leading all rebounders with four.
The Devils opened the second half with Hebert nailing a three pointer and Sabrina Macaulay nailing a pair of free throws to pull within three points, 37-34.
The Devils continued to chip away and would eventually take their first lead of the game when Hebert nailed a pair of free throws to make it 45-44, Fredonia State. The following possession, Warren sunk two free throws to cap a 10-0 run and put the Devils up 47-44.
Oswego regained a measure of momentum on a 9-4 run, going up 56-49.
It was then the Devils' turn to heat up from long range. They responded with back-to-back threes from Warren and Cussins on consecutive possessions. Oswego's next possession resulted in a miss. Cussins grabbed the rebound and made a full-court pass to a wide open Hebert for the Devils eighth consecutive point.
Cussins was not done there.
The Devils got two more defensive stops. On their two offensive possessions, Cussins nailed her third three-pointer of the game and converted a free throw, putting the Devils up 61-56 and essentially icing the game.
Oswego resorted to fouling the Devils to slow the clock, but Hebert and Warren each made both of their free-throw opportunities.
Hebert became the seventh Blue Devil to reach the 1,000-point plateau when she nailed a three-point basket midway through the first half. She entered the game needing 11 points to reach the mark.
The last Devil to reach the mark was Cheryl Kindzia in 2008. Kindzia, who was in the crowd after participating in the Alumni Game earlier in the day, holds the all-time Blue Devil record with 1,370 points.
The Devils travel to Oneonta and New Paltz next weekend. They currently reside in seventh place in the SUNYAC. The top six teams make the playoffs. Buffalo State, Cortland and Oneonta each stand one game in front of the Devils at 7-6 with five conference games remaining. In addition to Oneonta next weekend, the Devils still have a head-to-head matchup remaining with Buffalo State.
Blue Devils stun No. 9 Plattsburgh, 2-1
Fredonia State defeated No. 9-ranked Plattsburgh, 2-1, to complete a weekend SUNYAC sweep Saturday and move a step closer to claiming a playoff berth.
"Our guys just did a pretty good top to bottom job," Fredonia State head coach Jeff Meredith said. "We didn't take penalties and we worked hard and finished checks. We probably finished more checks tonight than we have all year long."
Matt Hehr scored on a wrap-around - his second goal of the game - with 11:46 left in the third period, then junior goaltender Mark Friesen withstood an onslaught of Plattsburgh shots the rest of the way.
"You have to mention Hehr," Meredith remarked. "Both goals were pretty greasy and gritty. He just got the puck and put it on net. And the more times you do that, the more good things happen."
Friesen finished with 35 saves. He made 25 saves to earn a 2-0 win Friday over Potsdam.
"Friesen played really well," Meredith said. "He's starting to kind of get his groove going at the right time. That's a huge positive for us."
The Blue Devils improved to 5-6-1 in the conference and 7-13-2 overall. The win avenged a 5-0 loss in November at Plattsburgh.
"I think (Friday) night we got a real big dose of confidence and there was just ... The more that we can start having success, the more confidence we'll have," Meredith said. "And the more we can start hitting our stride - I don't think we're there yet, but we're getting closer."
Plattsburgh, No. 9 in this week's USCHO.com NCAA Division III rankings, fell to 9-2-1 in the SUNYAC and 14-6-1 overall.
Hehr gave the Blue Devils a 1-0 lead 17 seconds into the second period. His shot from below the goal line bounced off Plattsburgh goaltender Mathieu Cadieux. It was Hehr's team-leading seventh goal of the season. Chris Jung and Will McLaughlin picked up assists.
The Blue Devils clung to the one-goal lead until late in the period. After Ian Cosgrove was sent off for boarding, the Cardinals used the man-advantage to even the score, 1-1, when Dillan Fox ripped a one-timer from the left circle off a pass from Luke Baleshta from the far side boards.
Earlier in the period, Plattsburgh had an apparent goal waved off when the officials blew the whistle before the puck entered the net.
Hehr's game-winner came after the Blue Devil forecheck kept the puck in deep and he came around from the net and shoveled the puck just inside the right post.
Fredonia State is back in action next Friday at home vs. Cortland. It's also the annual Pink The Rink game.
Blue Devils fall
The Fredonia State men's basketball team fell to Oswego on Saturday, 68-50, in Steele Hall.
The Devils (6-13, 2-11 SUNAYC) were led by freshman Robert Lyles with 12 points. Senior Dalton Kashmer added 10 points and junior Tyrone Clark had nine points and four blocks.
Oswego (15-5, 8-5) was led by Hayden Ward with 23 points and 16 rebounds.
The Devils were down 10 at halftime. The pulled within nine late in the second half, 52-43, following an Adam LaQuier layup at 7:10.
The Devils travel to Oneonta and New Paltz next weekend.
Indoor Track & Field
Two women added
ITHACA - Two Fredonia State women added their names to the program's all-time Top 10 1,000-meter performance lists while competing Saturday at the Ithaca College Bomber Invitational.
Kim Foltz, a junior, and sophomore Amanda Cocchiara had times of 3:07 and 3:13, respectively. The school record, held by Lori Andrews, is 3:03.16, set in 2003.
In other events, senior Leslie Beaton (Maple Grove) was third overall in the 400 in 1:01.75; junior Anna Hourihan ran a 1-minute personal-best and SUNYAC qualifying time of 10:53; while sophomore Niki Desens and sophomore Jenna Fiacco had personal-best 20-pound weight throws. Desens tossed her weight 13.18 meters, Fiacco 12.71 and freshman Harper Horton a SUNYAC qualifying throw of 10.42.
On the men's side, freshman Kyle Collins had a SUNYAC qualifying 3,000 time of 9:03.
In the 35-pound weight throw, freshman Sawyer Bell had a personal-best 12.87 meters.
Fredonia State multi-athletes Tyler Gajewski (Dunkirk) and Doug Imperi (Angola) competed Saturday in the men's heptathlon. The event concludes Sunday.