ONEONTA - Fredonia State grabbed an early lead and held it throughout its 68-63 SUNYAC road win Friday over the Oneonta Red Dragons.
Brittany LaForce led the scoring with 18 points, including four 3-point baskets. Three of them came as the Blue Devils built a 36-30 lead at halftime.
Two of her points came on a jumper from just inside the arc in the final minute - a basket which effectively put an end to Oneonta's comeback bid. The Red Dragons trailed 52-38 midway through the second half before rallying.
Becky Hebert finished with 17 points, below her 23.6 scoring average - seventh in NCAA Division III - coming into the game. Alexis Cheatham added 15 points and five assists, while Jaimie Warren had had 10 points. Sabrina Macaulay had a strong all-around game with six points, 12 rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots.
The Blue Devils improved to 7-6 in the SUNYAC (12- 7 overall) and tied Cortland for fourth place. Both teams are on the road today - the Blue Devils at New Paltz (2 p.m.), Cortland at Oswego (6 p.m.). Oneonta fell to 9-5 in SUNYAC and 15-6 overall.
The Red Dragons made it a one-possession game twice. They cut the margin to 57-54 on a jump shot by Alyshia Crawford. The Blue Devils countered with a quick inbounds pass and a long pass by Warren ahead to Hebert, who snuck behind the Oneonta defense for a fastbreak layup.
The second Oneonta threat to tie the game came with 46 seconds left as Sarah Longto's layup cut the Blue Devils' lead to 64-61. On the next possession, Hebert drove the baseline and sent a kick-out pass to LaForce stationed on the left perimeter. LaForce caught, shot, and took most of the fire out of the Red Dragons with a basket to give the Blue Devils a 66-61 lead with 28 seconds left.
Following a Fredonia State defensive stop, Oneonta fouled Alexis Cheatham and the freshman guard made a pair of free throws to seal the victory.
Devils extend Oneonta to the limit, fall in OT
For the second straight game, an undermanned Fredonia State team extended a SUNYAC opponent to overtime, but this time the Devils' heroics came up short. Oneonta claimed an 87-83 victory.
With the Devils down one, 72-71 with three seconds to go, Robert Lyles was fouled and sent to the line for two free throws. After missing the first one, he sank the second and sent the game into overtime.
Oneonta finally pulled away in the extra period to gain the four-point victory. They outscored the Devils 15-11 in the five-minute overtime.
With only seven Fredonia State players seeing playing time due to various injuries and a limited roster, first-year head coach Phillip Seymore got the most out of his players through the first 40 minutes before falling in the extra period.
Tyrone Clark finished with 28 points and 13 rebounds, while playing all 45 minutes. Lyles added 24 points. Alexander Grace added 18 points. Grace and Clark combined for 10 3-pointers.
Oneonta (7-7 SUNYAC, 10-11 overall) was paced by Zach Mager with 29 points and Mike McElroy with 18.
Oneonta held a 38-32 lead at the break. Both teams hit on 12 three-pointers and shot well from the floor - 50 percent for Oneonta and 45 percent for the Blue Devils. Oneonta held a slim 38-35 edge in rebounds. Foul shooting was the bane of the Devils, as the converted 55 percent (11 of 20) compared to 19 of 30 (63 percent) for Oneonta.
The game saw six lead changes and nine ties.
The Devils (2-11, 5-15) travel to New Paltz on Saturday.
SUNYAC-leading Cards down Devils, 4-1
PLATTSBURGH - Dustin Fox had a goal and an assist and Marc Cadieux made 20 saves as No. 6 Plattsburgh defeated Fredonia State, 4-1, in SUNYAC men's hockey Friday.
The win kept the Cardinals atop the SUNYAC standings. They are 17-3-2 overall and 10-1-2 in the conference.
Dakota Mason, Alex Jensen, and Alex Brenton had the other Plattsburgh goals. Zach White scored for the Blue Devils, who fell to 4-5-3 in SUNYAC and 7-10-4 overall.
White's goal came on a hard blast from the top of the circle at 8:17 of the third period. It was the second goal of the year for the freshman defenseman. Fellow defenseman Ryan Wilkinson picked up his team-leading 12th assist.
Freshman goaltender Jeff Flagler made 29 saves for the Blue Devils, who conclude their trip to north country with a meeting tonight with the Potsdam Bears.