KINGS POINT, N.Y. — Seeking their first Skyline Conference Championship, the No. 4-seeded St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) women's basketball team fell to No. 3-seeded and defending champion United States Merchant Marine Academy, 70-47, on Saturday afternoon at Liebertz Gymnasium.
Junior Kelly O'Donnell (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) had a near double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds to lead three in double-figures for the Bears, who end their season at 18-10, their most wins in a season in the program's NCAA era and the most since 2005-06.
Senior Lauren Quesada (Westbury, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) provided a bulk of the early scoring and finished with 11 points
How it Happened
The Mariners (23-4) raced out to a 7-0 lead to open the game and never trailed. Emma Kiley (Whitestone, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) scored six points to power a 10-4 SJC run to pull within one at 11-10 with 2:23 in the first and an O'Donnell triple just before the buzzer had the Bears down 15-12 at the first break.
Back-to-back layups from Fatima Monsour (Brooklyn, N.Y./New Utrecht) and O'Donnell brought the Bears within four, 22-18, at 4:41 before the intermission, but the hosts closed out the half on a 12-5 spurt to carry a 34-23 lead into the lockers.
St. Joseph's struggled to get the offense going in the second stanza to mount a comeback as the defending champs seemingly converted at will and nearly reached their 61.1-points per game scoring average by the end of the third.
USMMA also did well to contain O'Donnell who was held to just four points in the first half and started scored eight points in the third to reach double-figures but saw the Mariners widen their lead to 58-35 headed to the final stanza.
USMMA finished the game shooting 41.8 percent on their home floor and nearly doubled their three-point average per game (3.4 3FGM/gm, 10th in league) sinking six three-pointers while the Bears, third in the league at 7.7 made triples a game, sank just 3-of-17 (18 percent).
Post-Game Press Conference
For the Bears
- O'Donnell's team-high 14 ends her outstanding junior campaign with 609 points — and scoring in double figures in all-but-one game this season. She will enter her senior season with 1,555 points and 766 rebounds.
- Quesada caps off her collegiate career with 833 points and 680 rebounds.
- Kiley rounded out three in double figures with a near double-double of 10 points and nine boards.
- Senior Samantha Wilber (Island Heights, N.J./Central Regional) hit a pair of threes to chip in six points in her final collegiate game.