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Brooklyn College Lady Bulldogs capture ECAC title

BC Tops Rutgers-Newark for Metro Women’s Championship

March 10, 2015 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Senior Vanessa D’Ambrosi capped her brilliant career at Brooklyn College by leading the Lady Bulldogs to their first-ever ECAC Division III Metro Women’s Basketball Championship on Sunday. Photo courtesy of BC Athletics
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Vanessa D’Ambrosi saved her best for last.

After missing all of last season with an ACL injury, the Bishop Ford alum and Brooklyn native capped a brilliant senior campaign by helping the Lady Bulldogs of Brooklyn College earn their first-ever ECAC Division III Metro Women’s Basketball Championship on Sunday at the West Quad Center.

“Words can’t describe how it feels to win this championship and make Brooklyn College history,” D’Ambrosi said after scoring nine of her game-high 20 points in overtime to earn tournament MVP honors as the top-seeded Bulldogs outlasted visiting Rutgers-Newark, 63-58.  

“I am honored to be named MVP,” added D’Ambrosi, who also pulled down 12 rebounds in the final. “We have so many great players on this team and any could’ve been named MVP.”

After settling for runner-up finishes in each of the previous two Metro tourneys, the Bulldogs (22-7) made sure there would be no accepting second best this time around.

Nicole Francomano and Megan Campbell scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, and fellow fourth-year forward Asia Foster grabbed 13 boards for BC, which rebounded with two straight wins after suffering yet another loss to powerhouse Baruch in the CUNYAC Championship Game on Feb. 27.

Despite that defeat, the Bulldogs, a combined 90-30 over the past four seasons, completed their fourth consecutive 20-plus victory season in fitting fashion.

“Tonight was a great way to end our season and to send off this tremendous senior class,” said BC head coach Alex Lang.  “We have been very close to winning this Tournament and an ECAC Championship the last couple of years, and am proud of our team for this outstanding accomplishment. This feat hadn’t been accomplished in our program’s history, and is something that will go down in the record books.”

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While all of Downtown Brooklyn waited with bated breath for the result of Tuesday night’s NEC Men’s Basketball Championship Game at the sold-out Pope Center, Remsen Street’s women’s team quietly moved within two wins of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament.

The No. 5 Terriers upset fourth-seeded Sacred Heart, 77-59, on Sunday in Fairfield, Conn., advancing to the NEC Tournament Semifinals for the first time since 2007.

Senior Jaymee Veney poured in a game-high 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting and fellow fourth-year standout Sarah Benedetti added 19 points for SFC, which is peaking at just the right time.

After enduring a disappointing regular season, the Terriers (13-18), who won a program-record 19 games a year ago, have reeled off six victories in their last seven games, earning a semifinal showdown with top-seeded Central Connecticut State on Wednesday in New Britain, Conn.

“There really isn’t much more this group of seniors could accomplish, both off and on the court,” said SFC head coach John Thurston, who has been instrumental in turning the program around.

“This was the only thing left,” added Thurston, whose squad got bounced in the quarterfinal round by Bryant last March. “They have made us into an incredible program. I wanted this for them badly. I’m really happy for them. They have been the heart and soul of St. Francis Brooklyn Women’s Basketball for the past four years.”

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The LIU-Brooklyn women got run over by CCSU, 72-51, in the NEC Quaterfinals on Sunday at Detrick Gymnasium, finishing 9-21 this season.

Junior guard Sophie Bhasin scored 13 points for the Blackbirds, who went 6-12 against conference opponents.

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In other local college hoops news, St. Joseph’s College (Brooklyn) senior forward David Louison has been named a finalist for the Reese’s Division III College All-Star Game.

Two student-athletes will be selected via fan vote on D3Hoops.com starting at noon Tuesday until Wednesday at noon.

The game, which will feature 18 seniors, will be played on March 21 prior to the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship game at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Virginia.

A career 1,698-point scorer and the active Division III leader with 1,195 rebounds and 60 double-doubles, Louison recently collected CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-America First Team, USCAA Student-Athlete of the Year and HVIAC Player of the Year honors adding to his long and growing list of accolades.

The Brooklyn native was named a three-time USCAA First Team All-American and a four-time All-HVIAC selection.

Help Louison become the first Brooklyn student-athlete to participate in the All-Star Game by voting today on D3Hoops.com and help spread the word.


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