BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) women's basketball team came out on the winning side of a dramatic 63-62 result over the College at Old Westbury (10-15, 10-10 Skyline) on Saturday afternoon from The Hill Center. The one-point triumph is the Bears' (16-9, 14-6 Skyline) smallest margin of victory this season and the team's fifth straight win heading into the Skyline Conference Championship.
The team recognized Samantha Wilber (Island Heights, N.J./Central Regional), Gina Hopkins (Astoria, N.Y./Monsignor McClancy), and Lauren Quesada (Westbury, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) prior to the game during the Senior Day ceremony.
How It Happened
For much of the first quarter, the two sides traded leads. Down 8-6 with 3:23 left in the period, Quesada knocked down both of her free throws to level the score at eight apiece. It was followed up by a driving layup by Deserae Sequeira (Clark, N.J./Arthur L. Johnson) giving the hosts the advantage. The Bears closed out the period on an 8-1 run to go up 14-9 heading into the second quarter.
Three-pointers by Quesada and Jamie Provino (Harrison, N.Y./Harrison) saw the Bears go up by seven, 20-13 to begin the second. The Panthers chipped at the SJC lead, coming to within one on four occasions in the final 5:54 of the stanza. The Bears responded with baskets by Kelly O'Donnell (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) and Alexis Breen (Union Beach, N.J./Keyport) on the first three instances, however, with less than a minute to go, Old Westbury took their sole lead of the quarter and went into the half with the 27-26 edge.
The Bears took the upper hand on buckets by Sequeira and Emma Kiley (Whitestone, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) to start the second half. The visitors scored eight of the next 10 to take a 35-31 lead. The Panthers would see just one field goal in the final 5:39 of the third as St. Joseph's, largely led by Kiley and O'Donnell, raced out to a 12-0 run and scored 15 of the final 19 points in the period; taking a 46-39 lead entering the fourth quarter.
The navy and gray found ways to score for much of the first six minutes of the fourth. A trey by Hopkins and free throws by O'Donnell and Quesada gave the Bears a 13-point cushion. However, led by leading scorer Davida Warren and Ja'nya Flash, the Panthers stormed back; using a 12-0 run to see themselves down 60-39. With less than a minute, the Bears were up by two before Flash tied the game for Old Westbury with 37 seconds left. O'Donnell and Quesada saw themselves hit one shot each from the charity stripe to once again give SJC the two-point lead before Flash was forced to the line with .4 left in regulation. After hitting the front end of her free throws, she missed her second with O'Donnell collecting the carom and giving the Bears the one-point victory, 63-62.
For the Bears
- Quesada led the team with 18 points to go with seven rebounds and a pair of assists. She also recorded a block in the win.
- O'Donnell currently sits in fifth place on the programs' all-time scoring list with 1,492 points following her 17-point game. She needs just eight points to reach 1,500. She also pulled down a team-leading 14 rebounds.
- Kiley posted 10 points on five rebounds.
- Sequeira tallied nine boards, six points, and two assists.
- The senior duo of Hopkins and Wilber combined for four points and three rebounds.
The Bears, No. 4 seed in the 2020 Skyline Conference Women's Basketball Championship will host No. 5 College of Mount Saint Vincent in the first round on Tuesday, February 25 at 7 p.m.; the second-ever home playoff game at The Hill Center. Live stats and video will be available on SJCBears.com/live.