BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Thanks to a career-high 33-point performance by senior forward Lauren Quesada (Westbury, N.Y./St. Francis Prep), the No. 4 seed St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) women's basketball team defeated No. 5 seed College of Mount Saint Vincent, 76-68, in the first round of the 2020 Skyline Conference Championship on Tuesday night from The Hill Center. The Bears, who advance to their first-ever Skyline semifinal, will now face No. 1 Mount Saint Mary College this Thursday night with a spot in the championship game on the line.
Entering the game, Kelly O'Donnell (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) needed just eight points to surpass 1,500 for her career. A 10-point opening quarter saw the junior eclipse that mark.
How it Happened
St. Joseph's (17-9) blitzed the Dolphins (14-10) with a 14-0 run to open the game with Quesada knocking down half of their buckets. Quesada's 12 points, on 5-of-8 shooting, in the first quarter pushed the Bears lead to as many as 18, at 21-3, with 4:13 left in the period. O'Donnell's three-pointer with 55 seconds remaining saw her eclipse the 1,500 career-point plateau. St. Joseph's finished shooting a blistering 63 percent (12-of-19) in the opening 10 minutes and led 28-13 at the first break.
Quesada continued her sharpshooting in the second, knocking down the team's first eight points in the period to give the Bears their largest lead of the game at 21 points. As CMSV began trimming their deficit, Deserae Sequeira (Clark, N.J./Arthur L. Johnson) and Kaitlyn Stenz (Maspeth, N.Y./Monsignor McClancy) also scored to preserve SJC's double-digit advantage; going into the lockers up 41-27.
A minute into the third quarter, the visitors scored nine straight points to come within two possessions of the Bears. Treys by O'Donnell and Quesada allowed the Bears to hold on to their lead. Despite Mount Saint Vincent pouring 22 points in the period, the navy and gray had the 54-49 edge entering the fourth.
Quesada and Samantha Wilber (Island Heights, N.J./Central Regional) propelled the Bears to a nine-point cushion to start the final stanza. DarNeisha Brice and Gabriella Goldman chipped away at the SJC lead, cutting their deficit to one. The Dolphins tied the game at 64-all on a Brice three with under four minutes to play. Victoria Hanley split a pair of free throws to give the guests their only lead of the game, 65-64, at the 1:59 mark. Quesada scored the next five points—drilling her sixth triple in the process—to give the Bears the lead for good. Wilber, O'Donnell and Jamie Provino (Harrison, N.Y./Harrison) knocked down seven of the final eight points from the foul line, further distancing themselves from CMSV to come out on top, 76-68.
For the Bears
- Quesada went 11-of-19 from the field and 6-of-10 from beyond the arc en route to a career-high 33 points. She also collected a game-high 13 rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists.
- O'Donnell finished the game with 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting while gathering nine boards, three takeaways, and two dimes. She now has 1,514 career points.
- Emma Kiley (Whitestone, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) registered eight points, three rebounds, and two blocks.
- Sequeira dished out 10 assists, collected seven caroms and scored three points.
The No. 4 Bears will turn their attention to the #SkylineWBB Semifinal against top-seeded Mount Saint Mary this Thursday, February 27. Tipoff from Newburgh is scheduled for 7 p.m. with live stats and video available on SJCBears.com/live.