Release Courtesy of St. Joseph's Athletics
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Four Lady Bears scored in double figures as No. 6 St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) erased a 21-point second-half deficit, before dropping a 74-67 decision to No. 16 Briarcliffe College in a United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) women's basketball matchup on Friday night at Brooklyn Technical High School.
The Lady Bears (13-9) have their four-game winning streak snapped by the Bulldogs (9-7) who halt their three-game skid as both squads make their case for a USCAA National Tournament selection.
Senior Kelly McNamee (Glendale, N.Y./Mary Louis) tallied 20 points to lead St. Joseph's. Senior Megan Moran (Syosset, N.Y./St. Dominic's) scored 15 points, grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds and dished out a game-high-tying five assists while junior Jennifer Miller (Ozone Park, N.Y./St. John's Prep) netted a career-high 14 points with 10 caroms as both recorded their second double-double of the season. Taylor Raccuglia (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Kearney) added 12 points.
Briarcliffe was led by Shenita Urquhart who had a game-high 32 points, draining 7-of-11 from behind the arc, leading a barrage of 13 triples from four Bulldogs. Kiara Johnson added 18 points.
The visitors took control of the game early, bombarding the Lady Bears with 10 three-pointers in the half, led by Urquhart's five triples and 19 points, growing their lead to as many as 20 before taking a 48-33 advantage into the lockers.
Briarcliffe scored the first six points of the new period to take a 21-point lead and the Lady Bears struggled to cut into the deficit due to poor shooting early on. After Briarcliffe jumped ahead by 21 again, 61-40, on a Urquhart jumper with 12:40 remaining, the Lady Bears suddenly found their stroke scoring nine points unanswered in a minute-and-a-half highlighted by a Moran three-point play. St. Joseph's used the momentum, extending it into a 24-3 run that knotted the game at 64-all with five minutes to play.
But after reeling back their USCAA rivals, the offense suddenly went cold and couldn't record a field goal for nearly three minutes, shooting 1-for-11 down the stretch and allowing the Bulldogs to escape with the victory.
After McNamee tied the game at 64-all, the Lady Bears forced a turnover and had a chance to take the lead, but missed two good looks, including one from close range, the rebound resulting in Moran's fourth foul, sending their second leading scorer at the time to the bench.
Briarcliffe scored six unanswered – making the most of two second chance opportunities – while the Lady Bears struggled to connect down the stretch.
McNamee drained a three-pointer with just over two minutes left to end the field goal drought and bring the game to one possession. But Briarcliffe responded with a Urquhart jumper on the ensuing possession and the Lady Bears couldn't match and ran out of time to assemble another comeback.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Both teams shot similar percentages from the field – Briarcliffe 34.7%, St. Joseph's 33.7% – but the Bulldogs connected on 11 more three-pointers, shooting 38.2% (13-34) from behind-the-arc.
- St. Joseph's attempted 20 more shots than Briarcliffe, their 92 attempts a team record.
- The Lady Bears protected the ball well committing just seven turnovers, but couldn't capitalize on 18 Briarcliffe miscues scoring just one extra point off turnovers, 11-10.
- The entire offensive production for Briarcliffe came from their starting five, placing four in double figures, while the Lady Bears received 28 points off the bench.
- St. Joseph's swatted away nine shots, with five different Lady Bears recording a block.
- Kristen Candelaria, Brittany Cervino and Deirdre Lavelle made their second starts of the season
THE LADY BEAR FACTS
- Briarcliffe improves to 7-2 in the all-time series, capturing the last four meetings, all at Brooklyn Tech.
- McNamee's 20 points was two off her career best
- Moran's double-double was the fifth of her career
- Miller surpassed her previous high of 12 points set vs. another USCAA foe Apprentice and fell one rebound shy of her best set twice this season.
- Cervino registered her first career block.
- Retas was held off the box score for the second straight game, the first time in her Lady Bears career that has happened.
NEXT UP FOR THE LADY BEARS – Mount Saint Vincent
St. Joseph's wraps up the home slate on Monday, February 10 welcoming College of Mount Saint Vincent to Brooklyn Tech for a 7:30 p.m. celebrating senior night for Kelly McNamee and Megan Moran.