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Jean-Baptiste heroics pushes Brockport past Oneonta

By: Dylan O'Loughlin

Oneonta, NY— Stephanie Jean-Baptiste would score 11 of her 18 in overtime to propel the Brockport women’s basketball team over Oneonta, 79-75. Jean-Baptiste was one of many key factors for the Golden Eagles in the second-half comeback.

Stephanie Jean-Baptiste scored all of her 18 points in the second half (Photo Credits: Liv Metz/Brockport Athletics)

“I think Stephanie is a scorer,” Brockport head coach Corrine Jones said. “When she lets it come to her, she can score and that’s what she’s been doing the past few games and I think she saw when she lets it happen, she can do it and doesn’t have to make it happen.”

The first half was a different story for the Golden Eagles. They found themselves down 10 to Oneonta as Emma Schwarzbeck led the scoring with 13 and they were playing Oneonta’s game.

“We came together at half,” Brockport’s Zoe Zutes said. “We yelled at each other, and we brought each other up. We didn’t call each other out, we called each other up. We really punched them in the second half and that’s exactly what we needed to do.”

Zoe Zutes had 10 of Brockport's 22 points in the first half (Photo Credits: Liv Metz/Brockport Athletics)

The Golden Eagles listened to each other. Out of the half, five players put points on the board in the third. After having zero in the first half, Jean-Baptiste would lead the way as she scored a quick seven points to get Brockport back in the game. By the end of the third, the Golden Eagles had cut the lead to six.

Heading into the fourth, Brockport’s Zairea Hannah went on to wreak havoc. Hannah scored six of her 12 in the fourth and to go along with that, she protected the paint. Hannah collected two of her three blocks in the fourth and hauled in second-chance opportunities grabbing three offensive rebounds leading to buckets for the Golden Eagles.

“Zairea I thought had a great bounce back from one half to the next and into overtime,” Jones said. “Again, doing her strengths, rebounding and finishing around the rim.”

Hannah was not the only contributor for the Golden Eagles. Zutes led all scorers in the fourth as she had 10 of her game-high 23 points, knocking down crucial threes.

“Everybody did their roles,” Zutes said. “Nobody tried to do any heroic moments. I mean, Steph had a heroic OT, but it was nothing outside of what we expected from her. So that was huge.”

Zutes knocked down two free throws that gave Brockport a 64-61 lead with four seconds left. Oneonta still had time and that’s all they needed. Schwarzbeck would deliver as she banked in a three over two Brockport defenders from the Oneonta Red Dragons logo at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.

Jean-Baptiste traded buckets with the Red Dragons as Molly Stephens, Amanda Zuntag, and Abby Harclerode all got on the board in overtime. Jean-Baptiste shot 4-for-5 from the field and 3-for-3 from the charity stripe in the final period of play.

“Well, I know a goal of ours, you know, we're trying to make the playoffs by any means,” Jean-Baptiste said.

A costly foul by Schwarzbeck would be her one flaw of the game as she sent Anna Lee to the line with 10 seconds left to give Brockport a two-point lead.

Oneonta had one chance left. The Golden Eagles denied the three-point shot and forced the Red Dragons to go to the rim. The ball ended up in the hands of Nadia Brown. She drove from the top of the key to the right side of the rack where great defense by Hali Lucia caused the miss. Lucia reeled in the miss and was fouled. She delivered at the line, putting Brockport up four with two seconds left. Brockport finally got over the hump of competing with teams in the final period and got the job done.

“We stuck together,” Jones said. “We had scorers who were scoring, we had passers passing, we had rebounders rebounding. I mean, when you do your job, we can do our job.”

Zairea Hannah grabbed 11 offensive rebounds in the OT win against Oneonta (Photo Credits: Liv Metz/Brockport Athletics)

Zoe Zutes finished with 23 points, Jean-Baptiste finished with 18 points and nine rebounds, and Hannah finished with a double-double, 12 points and 17 rebounds. For Oneonta, Stephens led the way with 22 points and eight rebounds, Schwarzbeck finished with 19 points nailing five shots from beyond the arc, and Zuntag ended with 13 points and nine rebounds.

With the win, Brockport (11-11, 7-8) now sits one game behind Oneonta (9-12, 7-7) for the fifth spot in the SUNYAC while staying two games ahead of Fredonia (10-10, 5-8) who sits just outside the playoffs in seventh. Brockport looks to continue this momentum as they host the Cortland Red Dragons at the Vlog as they begin their final home-stand of the season next Friday, February 9th at 5:30 p.m.

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