Mar 09, 2019
- The ECC and CACC semifinals were in the spotlight on Saturday and the former is where we begin, a pair of upsets highlighting the day and providing one more clash between two longtime rivals...
- LIU Post, the #4 seed in the ECC, kept their season (and existence) alive with a stunner over #1 seed St. Thomas Aquinas, 79-73. The Pioneers built a game-best fourteen point lead at the break, 45-31, but the Spartans rallied to take a lead late in the third frame, 59-58. STAC, which had a ten-game win streak snapped, held a 63-60 edge with 6:44 left after a Melissa Sadler (17 points) hoop but the Pioneers answered with a 9-2 spell to go ahead for keeps, 69-65 (2:33). The run was bookended by triples from Shannon Doyle (18 points) and Robyn Francis (15 points), two of four Pioneers in double digits. STAC cut the deficit to 71-70 but a key Doyle triple pushed it to 74-70 at the 1:03 mark and they went 5-6 at the line thereafter to close it out. Sasha Patterson (11 points) and Taylah Hudson (10 points) added depth for the winners, who shot 47% overall and made 10-25 from long distance. Ruth Adams (15 points, 7 boards) and Chelsea Murphy (14 points) had solid games for the Spartans, who shot 42% and were just 3-14 from deep. LIU Post will have one more shot at NYIT in the ECC final, reprising their Battle of the Boulevard one more time on Sunday. St. Thomas Aquinas, meanwhile, will await a likely NCAA tournament at-large bid after their 26-win season.
- NYIT, the #3 ECC seed, handcuffed #2 seed Daemen, restricting the Wildcats to 25% from the floor and unleashing a killer fourth quarter run on the way to a 65-44 semifinal victory. This one was close through three periods, with the Bears ahead 41-37, and still tight with 7:51 left (44-41) when NYIT exploded. An 18-0 bomb over a seven-minutes span decided the game (62-41) with a pair of three-pointers and two three-point plays amidst the carnage. Shalie Frierson (15 points), Tiara Place (11 points) and Taylor Tripptree (10 points) submitted double digits for the Bears as they shot 41% and won the paint, 30-18. Daemen's attack was topped by Jordan Heinold and Tiara Filbert (10 points each) but their season comes to a close with 18 wins. NYIT will tee it up one more time on Sunday against LIU Post with the ECC crown and a bid to the NCAA tournament on the line.
- There was far less drama in the CACC semifinals with #1 South seed University of the Sciences snuffing out Georgian Court, 70-54. The Devils, now on an 18-game win streak, were paced by Irisa Ye (22 points; 8-13 FG, 6-6 FT), Jordan Vitelli (14 points) and Jess Huber (10 points) as they raced to a 41-25 halfitme lead and kept the Lions at bay in an even second half (29-29). The key stretch for the Devils was a 16-0 run bridging the first two frames, creating a 27-11 edge (7:51) which held up the rest of the night. GCU received good games from Carna Prokic (14 points) and Ivona Krakic (10 points, 8 caroms) but they never really challenged the Devils after the decisive run. Sciences was sharp at the line (15-16 FT), as well, and will advance to Sunday's title game against local rival Jefferson.
- Speaking of Jefferson, the Rams blitzed Goldey-Beacom, 80-56, shooting 48% and dominating the most of the evening. The Rams have won their last five games and this one established a program standard for wins in a season with 28. Jefferson shot 54% in the first half and sank 6-12 from three-point land, crafting a 46-29 edge at the intermission and rolled from there. Beverly Kum (18 points, 8 boards), Caitlyn Cunningham (18 points), Alynna Williams (17 points; 4-9 3FG), Jessica Kaminski (16 points, 5 assists) and Erin Maher (11 rebounds) all had hands in the Rams effort while Amanda McGrogan (17 points, 6 rebounds), Tanner Turner-Rush (12 points, 6 boards) and Alanna Speaks (11 points, 7 caroms, 5 steals) did the heavy lifting for the Lightning. Jefferson and Sciences will face each other for the third time this season in Sunday's CACC title tilt, the rubber match in the season series.