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This may finally be the year for Brooklyn College women’s hoops

Lady Bulldogs advance to 4th straight CUNYAC title game

February 22, 2018 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Brooklyn College women’s basketball team advanced to the CUNYAC Championship game for a fourth consecutive season with Wednesday night’s victory over Hunter at CCNY. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn College Athletics
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The Brooklyn College (BC) women’s basketball team has been knocking on the door to the Division III NCAA Tournament for the past three years.

It’s about time our borough’s Lady Bulldogs kicked the darned thing in.

Senior guard Karen Mak recorded team highs of 15 points and seven assists to go with five rebounds and a pair of steals Wednesday night, catapulting BC into its fourth straight CUNYAC Championship game with a stirring 64-57 victory over Hunter in front of 300 fans at CCNY’s Nat Holman Gymnasium.

“Wasn’t our best game of the season, I felt we were out of sorts in the beginning of the game and didn’t adjust well to what they were doing defensively,” BC head coach Alex Lang said after the top-seeded Bulldogs moved on to meet No. 2 College of Staten Island on Friday night in a rematch of last year’s title game.

“But we pulled it together and made some plays in the second half to close it out,” Lang added following BC’s 23rd win in 26 games this season.

The Bulldogs (14-2 CUNYAC) dropped the 2015 championship game to Baruch, which was completing a run of eight consecutive conference titles.

In 2016, BC lost an overtime heartbreaker to Lehman College in the final before COSI handed the Bulldogs a 53-42 defeat in last year’s CUNYAC championship.

BC appeared headed for another letdown against the more than game fourth-seeded Hawks throughout Wednesday’s semifinal.

But Mak’s bank shot with just over six minutes to play gave the Bulldogs a 52-48 advantage before Lang’s title-hungry unit closed the game out at the line.

Senior center Weronica Green netted 13 points and eight rebounds, freshman guard Taylor George added 12 points and junior forward Jasmine Hansgen finished with eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds for BC, which watched COSI blow out Lehman in the evening’s second semifinal contest.

The Bulldogs and Staten Island’s Dolphins split a pair of regular-season meetings this season with BC prevailing 73-68 across the Verrazano Bridge on Jan. 17 before COSI exacted its revenge by snapping the Bulldogs’ season-high 13-game winning streak with a 62-45 win here on Feb. 8.

The BC men’s squad saw its dream of a CUNYAC championship end last weekend with a 74-73 loss to COSI in the tournament quarterfinals.

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While everyone on the Downtown scene was anticipating Thursday night’s Battle of Brooklyn men’s game between Long Island University (LIU) Brooklyn and Saint Francis College (SFC) Brooklyn, the local women’s squad settled their score last weekend.

Sophomore Jade Johnson poured in a game-high 23 points to earn MVP honors as the Terriers topped the Blackbirds, 64-54, last Saturday in front of 212 fans at Remsen Street’s Pope Center.

Johnson made 7-of-11 field-goal attempts on an otherwise poor shooting night for SFC, which finished 5-of-20 from 3-point range, which Johnson nailing all but one of those shots from beyond the arc.

“It’s awesome. The team all played well today,” noted Johnson, who pulled down four rebounds for the Terriers, who improved to 11-14 overall and 7-7 in Northeast Conference play to solidify their bid for an NEC Tournament spot.

“Hopefully we’ll make it to the playoffs and keep winning,” Johnson added.

SFC, which avenged a tough 61-59 loss at LIU on Dec. 29, got 10 points apiece from juniors Amy O’Neill and Maria Palarino.

With the victory, SFC improved to 5-1 against LIU in Battle of Brooklyn contests over the past six years. The Terriers also took over sole possession of fourth place in the NEC standings, giving them a shot to host a first-round tournament game here in Brooklyn Heights.

“It’s nice to beat your archrival, especially in the Battle of Brooklyn,” admitted SFC head coach John Thurston, the program’s all-time winningest coach and still the only one to lead a Terriers hoops team to the NCAA Tournament.

“Your goal, first of all, is to get into the tournament. But more importantly, [it] is to be playing good basketball and be fresh for the stretch run.”

The Terriers will be back in action this Saturday at Sacred Heart in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Freshman Jeydah Johnson scored 15 points and grad student Denisha Petty-Evans added 14 for the Blackbirds (9-16, 5-9 NEC), who are just a half game behind Sacred Heart and Mount St. Mary’s for the final two tournament spots in the conference.

LIU will try to make up ground in the postseason race Saturday at Fairleigh Dickinson in Teaneck, N.J.

 


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