A record-setting night is in the offing this weekend when the Fredonia State women's and men's basketball teams will play host to Potsdam and Plattsburgh in a pair of SUNYAC contests.
Senior Becky Hebert is poised to become the team's all-time scoring leader, needing only eight points to eclipse the previous standard of 1,370 set by 2008 grad Cheryl Kindzia. Saturday's opponent, Plattsburgh, may also see a new standard in scoring set this weekend as Kathleen Payne is only 25 away from the Cardinal's all-time mark.
Hebert enters the weekend as the SUNYAC's top scorer at 22.9 points per game, and the Devils' offensive output of 70.8 ppg is also tops in the league.
Other standouts for the Devils include the SUNYAC's second best playmaker in freshman Alexis Cheatham with 5.2 assists per contest. Cheatham is coming off a career-best 27 points at Geneseo on Tuesday.
The Devils also feature two of the top four rebounders in senior Jaimie Warren at 9.0 and sophomore Sabrina Macaulay at 8.3.
Warren continues her march toward 1,000 points with 958 for her career.
As a team, the Devils have won two of their last three and enter tonight's contest against Potsdam at 8-5 overall and 3-4 in SUNYAC play. Potsdam (4-10, 2-5), is coached by South Dayton native Tara Ruckh who played on three New York State championship teams at Pine Valley Central School.
Saturday's opponent brings the SUNYAC's second-leading scorer to Steele Hall in Plattsburgh's Payne at 18.5 ppg. The Cardinals enter the weekend at 11-3 and 6-1 prior to visiting Buffalo State tonight.
See FSU, Page B4
Payne - needing 25 points - looks to break the team-mark set in 1993 when Alicia LaValley finished her career with 1,436 points. Her first crack at the record comes tonight against Buffalo State. Plattsburgh also carries the conference leader in assists - Brittany Marshall - who is averaging 5.6 per game.
For the men, both the Devils and Potsdam are searching for their first wins in SUNYAC play. Both squads sit at 0-7. The teams split last season's series, with each winning its home game.
Tyrone Clark continues a solid senior campaign averaging 19.6 ppg. Sophomore Robert Lyles is coming off a 20-point game and is among the league leaders in assists (3.7).
Plattsburgh enters the weekend with a 5-2 mark and sits in third place in the conference. They are averaging nearly seven three-pointers per game, including the league leader Edward Correa, with 37.
The Devils split with Potsdam and dropped both games to Plattsburgh a year ago.
Tonight's action begins with the women at 6 p.m. and the men at 8 p.m. Saturday's games are at 2 and 4 p.m.
Blue Devils entertain two SUNYAC opponents
Fredonia State ended the first semester trying to find its men's hockey identity.
The Blue Devils had a 2-6-2 record when they headed home for holiday break. One of those two wins came over Oswego on opening night last Nov. 1.
The rematch is tonight at 7 p.m. at Steele Hall and finds the Blue Devils on a three-game winning streak and the Lakers ranked No. 11 in NCAA Division III by USCHO.com.
"Our goal upon our return (in January)," Blue Devil head coach Jeff Meredith said, "was to refine the game we need to play, and in doing so, generate some momentum heading into the SUNYAC stretch run."
That stretch run starts this weekend with the first two of nine straight conference games to close out the regular season. Cortland visits Steele Hall on Saturday night, also at 7 p.m.
The Blue Devils are 3-0-1 in their last four games to improve to 5-8-3 overall. They are 2-3-2 in the conference and in sixth place, while Oswego - winners of four straight SUNYAC regular-season titles - are in fourth place at 4-2-1 in the conference (11-3-2 overall).
The Lakers, coached by Ed Gosek, started the season minus 14 graduation losses from last year's team. Still, their 3-2 overtime loss to the Blue Devils - on a goal by freshman Hunter Long - was viewed as an upset by most SUNYAC observers. The Lakers eventually got on track and were 8-0-2 over a 10-game stretch before losing 3-2 at Elmira last Saturday.
From Fredonia State's standpoint, there was no carry-over from its win at Oswego. They won only once more during the first semester while struggling to score goals. Recently, though, the offense has picked up. They have scored nine goals in the last two games, including a 5-4 win Tuesday over the same Elmira team which defeated the Lakers three days earlier.
"We have to carry that same type of game, same style, and same mentality over to our conference opponents," Meredith said. "I think we have answered some questions that we had earlier in the year and (while we) are still a work in progress, I like what I have seen so far. I think we have gotten much tougher mentally."
NOTES: An estimated 40 alumni and their families will be on hand Saturday when the 1993-94 Blue Devil team is recognized. That team went 20-1-4, finished third nationally, and won the first of three SUNYAC titles by the Blue Devils ... an alumni game at 2 p.m. Saturday is part of the festivities ... Oswego's Matt Galati is tied for second nationally with 15 goals and leads a power-play unit which is ranked No. 3 with a 30.38 percent success rate. Galati has seven power-play goals ... Fredonia State's Jared Wynia has six power-play goals, tied for seventh in NCAA Division III ... Mitch Kaufmann and Chad Bennett scored the other Blue Devil goals in the Nov. 1 game at Oswego.