Women’s basketball led by pair of double-doubles

Photo by Marie A. Halpin | The Oswegonian

Two big double-doubles by junior guard/forward Kari Kipper and senior guard/forward Kayla Ryan helped lift the Oswego Sate women’s basketball team over the struggling College at Brockport 83-64. The win brings the Lakers to 11-8 overal and 6-6 in the SUNYAC.

The Lakers, who have dealt with bouts of inconsistency throughout the year, looked stellar on Tuesday night. Kipper and junior guard/forward Meagan Stover combined for the first 16 points of the half for the Lakers as they got off to a scorching start. The Lakers didn’t have their three-ball working, but they were able to score in multiple other ways and build a decent lead.

Phoebe Byrnes of the Golden Eagles helped keep Brockport in range during the first half, and finished with 27 points and nine rebounds in 32 minutes.

When Kipper and Stover got into early foul trouble in the first half, Ryan came in and picked right up where they left off, scoring five points in a nine point stretch for the Lakers to put them up 15 with seven minutes left in the first half. At the end of the half, Ryan, Stover, and Kipper each had double-digit points, and the Lakers had a large rebounding advantage.

Coach Tracy Bruno was happy with the teams play on Tuesday, and attributed much of the team’s success to its domination on the boards.

“The other big contributor to their dominating performances on offense was their rebounding,” Bruno Said. “Between those three kids they tallied 11 of our 21 offensive rebounds so they were able to get some easy put-backs.”

The Lakers came out in the second and picked up where they left off, scoring the first nine points of the half to put the Lakers up by 16. The Golden Eagles brought the lead under double-digits only once for the rest of the game, and the Lakers finished off the well-earned victory.

Kipper finished off the game with a career high 24 points and 10 rebounds to go along with Ryan’s 22 points 10 rebound double-double. Stover finished the game with 13 points and nine rebounds, falling one rebound short of giving the Lakers a trifecta of double-doubles.

The Lakers had a stout defensive advantage throughout the game, holding the Golden Eagles to under 35 percent shooting, but Bruno was still looking to improve after the game.

“I really wasn’t that pleased with our man-to-man defense in the first half,” she said. “I thought we gave up a lot of dribble drives particularly to No. 24, Phoebe Byrnes. One area of improvement for us, whether man or zone, is limiting fouls. We absolutely cannot send teams to the free throw line 28 teams and expect to beat good teams.” The Lakers switched to a zone defense in the second half, which Bruno attributed to being key in stopping Byrnes.

The Lakers also made some key adjustments on the offensive end during the game that paid dividends toward sealing the win.

“Being able to adjust to our opponent’s type of defense is crucial when it comes to scoring baskets,” Kipper said. “Once Brockport changed into zone, it was important for us to recognize that in order to score we had to work the ball through the paint. Once we did that it created more opportunities for layups and short jumpers.”

The Lakers were also able to get to the line 22 times, cashing in on 19 of those attempts, and turned the ball over a season-low five times while tallying seven steals.

Moving forward, the team is confident after the decisive victory and is looking to carry that over into Saturday’s game against SUNY Cortland. “As we face the remaining six games of our regular season we have to concentrate on the little things and play loose and relaxed,” Bruno said.

“I am excited to carry over the success that we have had into the Cortland game on Saturday, “ Kipper said. “They are a very good team and it will be a competitive game, but if we can continue to work together and communicate we will undoubtedly come out with a win.”

The Lakers are hoping to turn this two game spark into some much needed momentum as they reach the home stretch of their schedule, with only six games remaining. Saturday’s game against Cortland will be at 2 p.m. in Max Ziel Gymnasium.