The Oswego State women’s basketball team closed the final eight minutes against visiting SUNY Potsdam on an 18-11 run to knock off the Bears, 62-56, inside Max Ziel Gymnasium on Saturday. With the victory, and the Buffalo State loss to SUNY New Paltz, the Lakers clinched a berth in the SUNYAC playoffs.
For seniors Rachel Kohrs and Tricia Sullivan, it was their final regular season home game in a Laker uniform. The pair combined for 11 points on just 3-for-11 shooting.
The Lakers closed out the first half on a 10-0 run to take a 31-23 lead into the locker room. Kayla Ryan, the Lakers’ leading scorer and rebounder, found herself in foul trouble throughout the first half. With the leading scorer on the bench, freshman Meagan Stover provided the spark the Lakers needed, scoring all seven of her points in the first half.
"She was a crucial part of our first half run," head coach Tracy Bruno said.
Stover was part of a trio of Laker bench players who combined for 16 points and 13 rebounds.
The second half started with a quick 6-0 Bears run to bring the score to 31-29. The Lakers would counter with a 7-2 run. After a timeout, the Bears went on a 14-6 run to take a 45-44 lead with 8:30 remaining in the game. Bruno called a timeout and the Lakers closed the game 62-56.
"We took them out of sync offensively and limited their opportunities to one shot," Bruno said.
The Lakers had 28 perimeter shots. Coming into the game they were averaging just under 18 a game.
"A lot of teams know we are driven by our inside game and teams look to take that away from us," Bruno said. "We anticipated them to play a zone defense and we prepare for teams to take our game away from us."
Kristen Diglio paced the Lakers with 16 points and six assists. Colleen McCready added 12 points and six rebounds.
The Lakers managed to overcome 19 turnovers and a poor shooting performance. Potsdam scored 25 points off of turnovers. The Lakers shot just 33 percent from the field and 32 percent from the outside. However, they crashed the glass, pulling down 38 rebounds which led to 16 points.
With the win the Lakers improve to 12-10 and 9-6 in the SUNYAC. With three regular season games remaining the Lakers will look to hold on for a fourth-place finish.
"We [have] to take it one game at a time," Bruno said. "We cannot slip up if we are to reach our ultimate goal of hosting a home game in the playoffs."