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Game of the Week: McGuire's heroics lift Cortland over SUNY Poly in OT thriller

Game of the Week: McGuire's heroics lift Cortland over SUNY Poly in OT thriller
CORTLAND, N.Y. - The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Game of the Week is the Cortland at SUNY Poly matchup last week. The game took place Saturday, Dec. 15, with Cortland looking to gain some momentum after losing three of their last four games.

Game Facts

1st Half

Cortland outscored SUNY Poly in both the first and second quarters, but the game remained close between both teams throughout the first half. With 1:12 left in the second half, a layup from Rylie Smith put the Wildcats within three of the Red Dragons. But a three-pointer with less than ten seconds remaining from Tanna Mohammed helped Cortland end the half leading SUNY Poly 35 to 29. Cortland made more field goals than SUNY Poly (14 vs 10), while grabbing 19 rebounds compared to 12 for the Wildcats. 

2nd Half

Cortland led as much as nine at 43-34 with 3:58 left in the third quarter. The Wildcats, however, scored eight straight points, including two 3-pointers from Taylor Aybar, to pull within one. Mohammed's 3-pointer gave Cortland a 46-42 lead entering the fourth. SUNY Poly took its first lead of the second half at 52-50 on a Smith three-pointer with 3:06 left in the game and a basket by Molly Burdick extended the margin to four. Kristy Vitucci's three-pointer with just over a minute left in regulation cut the deficit to one. After the teams each failed to score on their next possessions, Cortland was forced to foul and Kiersten Leos hit two foul shots with 13 seconds left to give the hosts a three-point lead. Cortland called timeout and advanced the ball to the frontcourt. SUNY Poly had committed only two fouls in the fourth quarter to that point and elected to purposely foul twice with eight and five seconds left. Cortland called timeout with four seconds remaining, and on the ensuing inbounds Shannon McGuire took the ball, dribbled just to the left of the top of the key and buried the tying three-pointer.


SUNY Poly actually enjoyed its largest lead of the game during overtime as early baskets by Aybar and Smith gave the Wildcats a 61-56 advantage. Cortland scored the next six points on a Mohammed free throw, a McGuire trey and a Flanagan jumper to take a 62-61 lead with 1:37 left. Leos was fouled on a drive into the lane and hit two foul shots with 1:11 left to put the hosts back up by one. Cortland missed a three-pointer on its next trip down the court, but the Red Dragons got the ball back on a Shana Crespo steal with 18 seconds left. Off an inbounds play after a timeout, McGuire got the ball on the right wing, drove past her defender to the baseline and hit a reverse layup to give Cortland the lead. SUNY Poly called timeout and advanced the ball to the frontcourt. Cortland's defense forced the Wildcats into a contested, driving baseline jumper from the left side that hit off the rim and was rebounded by Crespo as the buzzer sounded, sealing the 64-63 win.

Player of the Game

Cortland sophomore Shannon McGuire had a big night against SUNY Poly, shooting 7-12 from the floor (including three 3-pointers), scoring a team-high 17 points. McGuire also grabbed six rebounds, while accumulating five assists. Besides having an impressive game, McGuire also played the hero for the Red Dragons - twice. With 0.2 seconds left in regulation, the sophomore buried the game-tying three-point basket to force the game into overtime. During the overtime period, McGuire went through traffic to complete an impressive reverse layup with six seconds left. It would be enough to squeeze Cortland past SUNY Poly for the win.

Inside the Stats

  • Cortland shot 41.0 percent from the floor during the game, while SUNY Poly shot 36.4 percent.
  • SUNY Poly shot 40.9 percent from behind the 3-point line, while Cortland made 30.3 percent of their 3-point attempts.
  • Cortland grabbed 40 rebounds, while SUNY Poly had 33.
  • SUNY Poly committed 16 turnovers, while Cortland had 19.
  • The Wildcats were adept at taking the ball out of Cortland's hands, compiling 12 steals compared to 6 for Cortland.
  • SUNY Poly had 20 free throw attempts (14-20) whereas Cortland only had 6 (4-6).
  • The Red Dragons scored 20 second-chance points; SUNY Poly scored 4.

Game Leaders


  • Field goals: Shannon McGuire - 7
  • 3-point field goals: Shannon McGuire - 3
  • Points: Shannon McGuire - 17
  • Assists: Shannon McGuire - 5
  • Rebounds: Meghan Flanagan - 9


  • Field goals: Rylie Smith/Taylor Aybar - 6
  • 3-point field goals: Rylie Smith - 4
  • Points: Rylie Smith - 18
  • Assists: Taylor Aybar/Kiersten Leos - 3
  • Rebounds: Rylie Smith - 8

What's Next

Cortland: The Red Dragons will take three weeks off before returning to action in a non-league game at Wells on Sunday, Jan. 6 at 2 p.m.

SUNY Poly: The Wildcats will close out their 2018 home game schedule with the Medaille College Mavericks on Wednesday, Dec. 19. at 3 p.m.

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