By Justin Satkowski
NEW PALTZ – In the first game of 2013 for both teams, Mount Saint Mary College fell to unbeaten SUNY New Paltz, 63-48, in non-conference action in New Paltz on Friday evening. The Knights fall to 5-6 overall, while the Hawks improve to an impressive 10-0 on the season.
New Paltz roared out of the gates early, seizing a 15-2 advantage with the help of a full-court press. Not to be outdone, the Knights responded with a 15-2 run of their own and when sophomore Lauren Romao drained a three-pointer with 7:31 remaining in the opening half, the teams were tied up at 17 points apiece.
Trailing by four later in the half, the Mount answered with three straight triples, one from senior Becky Metzger and two from senior Charneice McCullough, to take a five point lead. The Knights would then carry a three-point advantage (28-25) to the locker room at halftime.
The lead would be short-lived, however, as the Hawks opened the second half on yet another 15-2 run to lead 40-30 with just under sixteen minutes to go. A layup from junior Rachel Perrone cut the deficit back to single digits, but it would be as close as the Knights would get for the rest of the way. New Paltz led by double digits for the remainder of the contest and eased to the 15-point victory.
Senior Alex McCullough scored a game-high 20 points for the Hawks, adding five rebounds and three steals on the evening. Senior Maliqua Fisher contributed 12 points, five boards and four steals, while freshman Shannan Walker picked up nine points and led the Hawks with four assists.
Perrone pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds on the night for Mount Saint Mary, also adding 10 points to her effort. Romao led the Knights in scoring with 11 points, while Metzger also added 10 points of her own.