Red Dragons come back against Knights despite Clarkson women's hot start in basketball
Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 9:13 pm

Cortland, NY – Stroking seven 3-pointers in the first half gave the Clarkson University Women’s Basketball team a near double-digit advantage at the half against Cortland State, but the Golden Knights’ deficits on the glass and at the free throw line pushed the Green and Gold behind in the second half as the team fell 69-59 in non-league action Wednesday afternoon.

The Golden Knights fell to 3-6 overall with the loss, and the team will close out its non-conference schedule next Tuesday at Plattsburgh State. The Red Dragons improved to 7-1 on the campaign.

Despite foul trouble to some key players, Clarkson rode its collective hot-hand to an eight-point lead at the half, making half of its 14 3-point attempts. A pair of 3-pointers from Katie Goldberg (Stowe, VT) in the final minute helped lift Clarkson out of a tie game to a 33-25 edge at the break.

Cortland battled back to take a five-point lead midway through the second half before a Lauren Pluchino (Liverpool, NY) 3-pointer brought the Knights back to within a single basket. However, the Red Dragons used a 10-0 run to take a double-digit lead, while Clarkson missed three shots and committed three turnovers. Falling behind by as many as 16 points late in the game, the Knights again used the outside shot to get back into the game as Goldberg and Sierra Noles (Averill Park, NY) buried 3-pointers to cut the deficit to six points.

While the 3-point barrage in the first half was welcome, the players hanging out on the perimeter looking for open jumpers reduced the Knights’ opportunities for second chances following missed shots, and Clarkson had just three offensive rebounds in the contest, trailing in rebounding 32-23 overall. The rebounding disadvantage, coupled with the Knights receiving only three free throws in the entire contest compared to Cortland’s 22 attempts, was enough to mitigate Clarkson’s season-highs in field goal percentage (47.9%) and 3-point field goal percentage (45.8%).

Pluchino scored a team-high 14 points, making four 3-pointers, and Goldberg tossed in 11 points with three 3-pointers. Chrissy Scanlon (Queensbury, NY) added 10 points, while Stacey Garica (St. Albans, VT) produced 10 points and four steals. Molly Byrne led all scorers with 16 points, shooting 7-for-11 for the Red Dragons. Three others scored in double figures for Cortland, including Brittany Cohen (14), Micki Volpini (12), and Jen Polan (10).