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Women's basketball nearly completes massive upset

by Paul Cifonelli - Staff Writer
Wed, Feb 27th 2019 02:00 pm
`I am so grateful for my time as a Golden Eagle. From the moment I got here, I was challenged and encouraged to grow and improve as a student athlete. As a transfer student my sophomore year, I followed the leadership of the seniors and started to build strong relationships with my teammates. Each year my team and I improved a little bit more and what we accomplished during the 2018-19 season will be a memory I cherish for a long time. I have loved every moment of playing with and for this team. Basketball has taught me how to stay disciplined and work hard every day. It's taught me to adapt to adverse situation and taught me how to be an effective leader. I will take the lessons and skills I have learned from playing the game with me wherever I go next. Lastly, I'm so thankful for the people I have been privileged to know during my time here. Both my coaches and teammates have shaped me into the athlete I am today and that will never leave me. I can't wait to see where this team goes from here and I will always be a huge Golden Eagle fan.`
-Emily Nestler
"I am so grateful for my time as a Golden Eagle. From the moment I got here, I was challenged and encouraged to grow and improve as a student athlete. As a transfer student my sophomore year, I followed the leadership of the seniors and started to build strong relationships with my teammates. Each year my team and I improved a little bit more and what we accomplished during the 2018-19 season will be a memory I cherish for a long time. I have loved every moment of playing with and for this team. Basketball has taught me how to stay disciplined and work hard every day. It's taught me to adapt to adverse situation and taught me how to be an effective leader. I will take the lessons and skills I have learned from playing the game with me wherever I go next. Lastly, I'm so thankful for the people I have been privileged to know during my time here. Both my coaches and teammates have shaped me into the athlete I am today and that will never leave me. I can't wait to see where this team goes from here and I will always be a huge Golden Eagle fan." -Emily Nestler

Following a wild weekend in which The College at Brockport women’s basketball team surprisingly qualified for the SUNYAC tournament, the Golden Eagles had to readjust its focus for conference play. With its season on the line, Brockport had minimal room for error.

With Cortland set to face Brockport in the first round, familiarity would either help or hurt the Golden Eagles. The first half showed that the teams had met each other recently, with the Red Dragons taking a one-point advantage into halftime. The Golden Eagles were able to shake its offensive troubles in the third quarter to take a four-point lead with one quarter left to play.

The fourth quarter was a dogfight, but the Golden Eagles came out on top, 55-53. Sophomore guard Julianna Taylor and senior forward Emily Nestler were the only players for Brockport to reach double figures in the scoring column. Nestler also managed to pull down 10 rebounds to secure a double-double in the contest.

The matchup with Cortland was the second time the teams met in a four-day span. While the familiarity helped Cortland make the game closer, Taylor said that the team did not change anything to prepare for the Red Dragons a second time.

“We knew we had the chance to play them again if we beat them the weekend before and that’s what we did. So, we kind of expected it actually,” Taylor said. “Not much changed in the game plan. We had just beat them, so we knew what we had to do in order to be successful again. We did know that we were going to have to step up on defense because we were playing at Cortland.”

The semifinal matchup was against New Paltz, who entered the game as the one seed and the 24th ranked team in the country. They had defeated Brockport twice during the regular season, both games by double digits. The third iteration of the Hawks versus the Golden Eagles was much more interesting than the first two.

New Paltz struck early in the first quarter and made it appear as though the end result would be the same as the first two. However, Brockport rebounded and went into halftime only trailing by three. Despite not having the lead at all in the first half, the Golden Eagles came out inspired and turned it into a back-and-forth affair. With four lead changes and the score tied up twice during the third, the stage was set for an action-packed fourth quarter.

The Hawks led by as much as 14 during the final quarter, but that did not deter a comeback attempt. Brockport scratched and clawed its way back into the game. Freshman guard Morgan Elmer hit a three to tie the game up at 67 with just 1:03 left on the clock. Unfortunately, the Golden Eagles were unable to score the rest of the game and New Paltz hit three of four free throws to avoid the upset.

Junior guard Bailey Pratt, Taylor and Nestler all scored over 10 points for Brockport. Taylor led the way yet again with 14, while Nestler compiled 11 points and nine rebounds.

Nestler was the only senior on Brockport’s team this season and she will be sorely missed. She averaged 14.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, both of which led the team by a wide margin.

The loss to New Paltz was Nestler’s last game wearing green and gold. She reflected on her time as a Brockport basketball player and will cherish the memories she has made and lessons she has learned here.

While losing such a prolific scorer, rebounder and leader will hurt, the Golden Eagles will be ready to improve off the hot finish to this season. Every other player will be returning, including Pratt and Taylor, who both finished the season on scoring tears. Freshmen Chelsea Henry, Allison Chiera and Kylee Rosbrook, all of whom played significant minutes, will look to make bigger jumps forward next season. The future is looking bright for Brockport’s women’s basketball program.

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Taken by Vinny Croce:
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