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Halloran's heroics help Devils stay in first
Monday, December 12, 2016

 Halloran's heroics help Devils stay in first

Kathryn Halloran

Kathryn Halloran (Angola /Immaculata) sank a pair of free throws with three seconds left in a tie game to give the Fredonia women's basketball team a 72-70 comeback road victory over Cortland. The Devils trailed by as many as 12 points midway through the final period and closed the game on a 22-8 run, including the game's final 10 points, to remain undefeated in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC).

Fredonia improves to 4-0 in conference play and 8-1 overall. Halloran finished with 10 points and eight boards.

Jenna Einink (Westfield/Chautauqua Lake) led the way for the Devils with 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting and eight rebounds. Alexis Cheatham (Lockport/Lockport) netted 22 points shooting 7-for-8 from the charity stripe and nailed five three pointers.

Jacque Law (Machias/Pioneer) scored 11 points and dished out eight assists.

The first quarter started with a relatively slow pace, ending in a 10-all tie.

In the second quarter, Cortland built a nine-point lead, 23-14, with 5:29 left. A short jumper in the paint by Halloran brought the Blue Devils within seven. Cassidy Chapko nailed a three for Cortland less than a minute later to bring their lead to 10 points, 29-19, the Dragons biggest lead of the half.

Einink responded by burying a three pointer from straight away to spark a 12-2 run by the Blue Devils. Cheatham cashed in a three ball and four free throws during the run, including two to tie the game at 31-all after being fouled with :01 on the clock. The teams ended the second quarter tied at 31.

The Dragons scored the first 10 points of the third quarter to take a 41-31 lead. A Cheatham three cut the lead to seven. Layups by Chapko and Alyssa Vitucci put Cortland back up by 11.

Fredonia called a 30 second timeout with 5:55 left in the third quarter, then scored five quick points off an Einink hook shot in the lane and a Cheatham three to make it a 45-39 game.

The Dragons would eventually extend their lead to as much as 12 in the quarter, before a Halloran layup with 24 seconds left made it a 56-46 game at the end of three.

The Blue Devils again trailed by 12, 62-50, with 8:38 left in the game before their final push.

Two Cheatham free throws and another three pointer trimmed it to seven. The Dragons answered with a three of their own to bring it back to a 10-point game. Halloran and Einink responded with two more layups for the Blue Devils to cut the lead to six, 65-59.

Chapko drained another three for Cortland with 5:09 left making it a nine point lead.

A three from Fredonia's Jamie Curry (Ransomville/Wilson) cut the lead to six, 68-62.

The Red Dragons would score two more points off a Chapko layup, but then were held scoreless in the final 3:21 while the Devils rattled off the game's final 10 points.

Law put back her own miss under the basket with 2:05 to go. Cheatham buried her fifth three-pointer 30 seconds later to make it a three-point game, 70-67.

On Fredonia's next possession, Einink drove across the lane and dished to a wide open Law who nailed a three to tie the game at 70.

The Blue Devils forced a turnover on Cortland's next possession and called a timeout with 31 ticks on the clock. Cheatham brought the ball up the floor after the timeout and called for a screen from Einink before letting a three fly. Halloran hauled in the rebound off the miss, and was fouled on the put back before nailing both free throw attempts for the game winners.

In one last effort, Cortland called a timeout to advance the ball to half court. A three by Chapko from just in front of the logo fell short as time expired.

Cortland drops to 3-1 in the SUNYAC and 4-4 overall. Chapko scored a game high 28 points and was 7-for-13 from beyond the arc.

The win ties Fredonia with Geneseo for first place in the SUNYAC. The Blue Devils also improve to 4-0 on the road.

The Devils will hit the books for the upcoming finals week before playing host to Alfred University on Dec. 30.

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