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Brockport upset by underdog Oswego State

The Brockport Golden Eagles pregame. (Photo Credit: Brockport Athletics)

The No. 4 Brockport Golden Eagles women’s basketball team headed into the SUNYAC playoffs on a four-game win streak and earned a home game against the No. 5 Oswego State Lakers. The Lakers went on the road and played their best game of the season, stealing one from the Golden Eagles 70-47 in the first round of the SUNYAC playoffs. 

“Well, I think a couple of their players that transferred in mid-year played really well,” Brockport head coach Corrine Jones said. “Macey DeOrdio went 8-for-10 from three and Zhane Holmes was hitting mid-range jumpers, so you’re going to beat our zone when you do that, and I think those two really beat us.” 

DeOrdio led all scorers today with 30 points, knocking down eight threes, and made history to go along with it. She tied the most threes made in a game by an Oswego State player and she tied the most threes made in a SUNYAC playoff game with eight, alongside Geneseo’s Megan Mackey who got the record against Oneonta in 1998. Holmes finished with 13 points and six rebounds and shot 6-for-12 from the field. 

Zairea Hannah finished the game with a double-double for the tenth time this season. (Photo Credit: Brockport Athletics)

For Brockport, they could not get anything going. Only one player finished in double figures, senior Zairea Hannah finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds in her final game as a Golden Eagle. To go along with the double-double, Hannah’s name will be in the record books as in her two-year career as a Golden Eagle, she tied for the fourth-highest rebounds in a game this season with 20 against Oswego State on Jan. 5. She set a new record for rebounds per game in a season with 12.4, breaking a 31-year record set by DJ Hensley in the 1992-1993 season with 11.4. The transfer from Monroe Community College made an impact on the glass in her two-year tenure as well, as Hannah hauled in 559 rebounds, 311 this season which broke the single-season record for rebounds in a season as a Golden Eagle and puts her 11th all-time on the Brockport total rebounds list, six rebounds behind Renee Stewart who tallied 565 from 1984-1988. 

“It means a lot to me,” Hannah said. “I was able to push through all the adversities through the season. I started off slow, but I was able to find the answer. The culture here and the process enabled me to do what I can on the floor. But it means a lot to me to leave my legacy, leave it on the floor, and then just to have something that I’ll be remembered for as someone else can break it and have it be a trend to show what the Brockport women’s basketball team is about, and how we really don’t give up. It’s something words can’t explain, but it means a lot.” 

Oswego came out of the gates swinging. DeOrdio started off the scoring with a three from the top of the key, and Brockport responded quickly with a Hannah layup, but after that, the Lakers went on a 13-0 run and opened up a 15-2 lead with 3:39 to play in the first. At the end of the first, Brockport trailed 20-9 and all nine of the Golden Eagles’ points came from the hands of Hannah. 

In the second, it was much of the same. DeOrdio would keep the hot hand as she knocked down four shots from beyond the arc to give her 23 at the half with 7-for-7 shooting from the three. She outscored the Golden Eagles by herself as at the half Brockport only had 19, 15 of those points coming from Hannah. At halftime, Brockport trailed 37-19.

After the half, it was much of the same. The Lakers would start the half on a 9-2 run thanks to a DeOrdio three to officially tie the records with 8:31 remaining in the third. This would extend the lead to as much as 23, but the Golden Eagles went on a 6-0 run of their own to cut the lead to 17, but that’s as close they would get. Oswego’s Elania Johnson would get a quick four points to extend the lead back out to 21 then at the buzzer Sydney Hoefs knocked down a circus mid-range jumper where she caught the ball midair and shot it to extend the lead to 23 at the end of the third.

Zoe Zutes directing traffic in the corner. (Photo Credit: Brockport Athletics)

In the fourth, Brockport played its best basketball but it was too large of a deficit to overcome. Six players would put points on the board including all the seniors of the Golden Eagles who played their last game of their careers with Hannah, Hali Lucia, Zoe Zutes, and Kelsey Morgans. The quarter would end in a tie 16-16 and the Lakers would cruise to victory. 

Hali Lucia finished the game with four points, two assists, and five rebounds. Morgans ended with four points and Zutes would end her season with two points, four steals, and seven rebounds. It wasn’t the way they wanted their careers to end, but they will remember it forever.

“I’m really thankful for the teams that I’ve played with, the people I’ve played with,” Lucia said. “I’ve learned from all of them, I’m thankful for my coaches. Honestly, it just flew by, I wish I had another year. But I am thankful, and that’s really the only word I have is thankful.” 

The seniors for the Golden Eagles will be remembered and another one to stitch their name into the record books was Zutes. Zutes enjoyed a breakout season as she officially became second all-time in blocks for the Golden Eagles with 113, and finished 11th all-time for three-pointers made in a season as she knocked down 42 as the best three-point shooter by percentage in the SUNYAC.

“I think the only difference between this year and years past was my confidence,” Zutes said. “I mean, CJ (Coach Jones) would hate me to say this, but I haven’t touched a basketball since last season coming into this season and I didn’t do anything different except for having some confidence in myself and my teammates had confidence in me going into the winter and spring semester. It’s a shame that I’m not going to use my fourth year, but I’m glad I could have ended it like this.” 

Even though the Golden Eagles lost in the first round of SUNYACS for the fifth time in eight seasons, there is still a lot of good to takeaway. This season was the first time since 2009 that the Golden Eagles hosted a playoff game and to go along with that it was Brockport’s first time hosting a playoff game under Jones. It was also the first season under Jones where Brockport finished above .500, and with a lot of returners, the Golden Eagles look to build upon this heading into next season.

“Yeah, I mean I just said our culture is really strong to our team and we just want to keep building off what we had,” Jones said. “And, you know we’ve had some seniors that trusted it and left their legacy and we’re going to keep building off of what they left as we get Team 49 going.” 

Senior Hail Lucia standing on the Brockport center-court logo. (Photo Credit: Brockport Athletics)

Looking at next season it will be a change of scenery for the Golden Eagles as they move into the Empire 8 conference where they will face a whole new set of teams, including a team they faced earlier this year in Nazareth. Brockport looks forward to the new opponents of next season as they look to set the tone right away. 

“I think Steph (Jean-Baptiste) is going to do her thing like she always does,” Zutes said. “I’m really excited to see what Anna (Lee) and Shannon (Blankenship) do as a little duo. But I think everybody should keep their eye on Juan Brown. I think she’s kind of slipped through the season with her ACL injury, but man oh man, is she a player. I mean she’s not somebody I want to guard in practice and I’m sure the Empire Eight isn’t going to want to guard her either. And I’m looking at Mandy (Brink) right now, she’s got so much potential coming out having some experience under her belt and I think the Empire Eight’s got to look out I think Brockport coming in swinging.” 

The Brockport Golden Eagles finish its season with a 14-12 overall record and 10-8 in conference play ending their SUNYAC tenure on a high note. They look to carry these highs into next season as they head into the Empire 8, facing a new set of challenges and opponents.

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