Dragons escape with late win

The Fredonia State and Cortland women’s basketball teams entered Friday’s contest with identical 5-6 SUNYAC records and had identical scores inside the game’s final minute before four free throws by Cortland sealed a 47-43 victory.

With the Devils up 43-41, Cortland’s Megan Toughy drove the lane and converted a layup to tie things at 43-all with 45.8 seconds to play.

Following a Blue Devil turnover and foul on the ensuing possession, Cortland’s Lindsey Minor sunk both free throws to give the Red Dragons a 45-43 lead.

Two more Cortland free throws iced the game for the Dragons.

Fredonia State (10-8, 5-7 SUNYAC) was led by Becky Hebert’s 14 points and three assists. Nikole Lindquist had six points and nine rebounds. At 5-7 in conference play, the Devils are one game behind 6-6 Cortland and Oneonta for sixth place in the SUNYAC. The top six teams advance to the tournament.

Cortland (8-10, 6-6 SUNYAC) was led by Toughy’s 16 points.

The Devils started the game slowly on offense allowing Cortland to build a 7-0 lead over the first five-and-a-half minutes. The Devils immediately caught fire over the next three minutes using a 9-1 run to take their first lead, 9-8, midway through the first.

The first half finished with Cortland up 22-18. Fredonia State’s Hebert and Cortland’s Toughy led all scorers with eight points each.

Cortland led 33-26 halfway through the second. From there, the Devils went on an 11-2 run, taking their first lead of the half, 37-35. After a Cortland basket the Devils would use a layup by Lindquist with 5:49 left to play to take a lead it would hold until the final minute.

The Devils were propelled by shooting 88 percent from the foul line compared to Cortland’s 57 percent. They out-rebounded the Dragons 41-39 and held a 16-8 edge in points off the bench. Neither team led by more than eight points at any point.

Hebert’s 14 points leave her with 989 for her career, 11 shy of the 1,000 mark. She will become the seventh Devil in the history of the program to reach that plateau. The Devils are back in Steele Hall this afternoon for a 2 p.m. start vs. Oswego.