* Not much in the way of upsets on Saturday in the region but there was near-stunner, which is where the report begins...
* Mercy's bid to shock Molloy fell agonizingly short as the Lions, who trailed much of the day, came back to beat the Mavericks, 51-49. Mercy led by as many as thirteen points in the first half (which ended 24-13) and by a 30-17 count with 7:57 left in the third frame before Molloy answered. A 10-4 surge to end the period cut the arrears to 34-27 and later on a 7-0 run drew the Lions within 44-43 at the 2:58 mark. Kamala Thompson (17 points, 9 rebounds) scored to bring Molloy within 48-47 and a trio of free throws by Aliyah McDonald (19 points, including an astonishing 15-24 at the line) gave the Lions the lead for good, 50-48, with 38 seconds left. Mercy missed three times on their next possession but did end up with a chance to tie at the line, only to see Caralie Wilson (13 points, 4-11 3FG) split a pair with :02 left. Jessica Kalbfleisch matched that a second later to create the final score. Mercy had a 30-8 edge in bench points, led by Wilson and Abigail Collier (13 points, 8 rebounds), while Latisha Clark (14 points, 10 boards) topped the Maverick scoring. Molloy didn't shoot well (26% FG, 2-19 3FG) but enjoyed a huge advantage at the stripe (25-41 FT; Mercy 3-9 FT), which was decisive. Molloy stays second in the ECC while Mercy, now losers of five in a row, are all but out of playoff contention.
* The region's first twenty-game winner and first to clinch a division title is Adelphi, who beat Southern Connecticut, 62-44, to nail down the NE-10 Southwest Division crown. A 12-0 first period surge helped the Panthers take a 25-15 halftime lead and an 11-0 burst in the last frame made sure of the success. Sierra Clark (22 points, 10 rebounds) and Calli Balfour (11 points, 12 caroms, 5 steals) compiled double-doubles to lead Adelphi's attack while Maria Wesleyj (11 points) and Kiana Steinauer (12 boards) kept the Owls afloat. A lack of free throw presence (AU 16-20; SCSU 7-9 FT) and Adelphi's excellent board work (47-30) were damaging to the Owls, also. Despite the setback, SCSU still holds the final NE-10 Southwest playoff spot.
* Earning a share of the NE-10 Northeast Division title is Bentley, which came out on top at Assumption, 73-59. The win also meant head coach Barabra Stevens' 1000th game in charge of the Falcons ended in all smiles. A late 9-2 first half run staked the Falcons to a 35-31 lead at the interval and a 10-0 start to the second half created a 45-31 gap. The Greyhounds finally crafted a rally in the fourth quarter but a 10-1 spree drew the hosts within 59-54 with 6:25 to go. Macchi Smith (16 points, 8-8 FT) ended the momentum with the next five points, though, to make it 64-54 (3:36) and allow Bentley to roll on to their seventh straight win. Lauren Green (14 points), Jen Gemma (12 points, 16 boards) and Victoria Lux (8 points, 12 caroms) all played their parts for the Falcons, who were sound from deep (9-20 3FG) and at the foul line (18-22 FT). Jo Impellizeri had a big game for AC (23 points, 11 rebounds) and Allison Stoddard added 12 points but the Hounds didn't get to the line as much as Bentley (7-11 FT) and as a result, they dropped into a three-way tie for third place in the NE-10 Northeast.
* Bloomfield stayed in lockstep with Caldwell atop the CACC North thanks to a 74-55 win at Holy Family, the only road team to win in the conference on the day. Tianna Smith (29 points, 10-16 FG, 5-7 3FG, 4-4 FT) and Zhane Robinson (16 points) keyed a red-hot Bears shooting game (56.4% FG, 8-14 3FG) as they broke away from the Tigers with a 12-0 run in the second quarter. BC led 42-24 at the half and bascially managed the game from there to lock up their sixth straight victory. Abigail Iannotti (19 points, 8 rebounds) and Katie O'Hare (15 points) led the HFU effort but they couldn't keep up with Bloomfield's shooting (just under 40%) and lost ground in their bid for a CACC South playoff spot.
* Caldwell did their part to remain in a tie for the CACC North lead, coming back from an early deficit to batter Georgian Court, 91-73. The Lions led by as many as thirteen points in the first period but a 13-4 run to end the half gave the Cougars a 44-38 halftime lead. Caldwell scored 28 of the first 36 third period points to make a 72-46 game and ensure the spoils would be theirs. Antoinette Pilla (career-high 32 points; 12-14 FG, 6-7 3FG) was sensational for the Cougars and she had plenty of help in the likes of Kristen Drogsler, Rachel Simon (18 points each) and Sharell Sanders (13 points, 10 assists, 4 steals). GCU was led by Alliyah Berger (22 points, 10 rebounds), Jada Atchison (16 points) and Jaelyn Tweedy (14 points) in a game that saw both teams shoot well (Caldwell 53%, 11-22 3FG; GCU 48%, 9-20 3FG). The Lions dominated the glass (42-23) but Caldwell more than made up for that with a +20 in turnovers (27-7) and a 40-12 edge in points-off-mistakes.
* Good shooting (49% FG, 13-29 3FG) and a solid day with the ball (18/9 assist/turnover ratio) helped the University of the Sciences grab a 73-39 win over Felician and stay on top of the CACC South Division. A 14-2 burst spanning the first two periods was part of a half that saw the Devils claim a 42-28 halftime lead, and they locked down on defense in the third quarter to ice the win. The Golden Falcons made just one field goal in the third frame (1-13 FG) and were out-paced 17-2 in the stanza (59-30, Sciences), ending any lingering doubt. Sarah Abbonizio (16 points), Alex Thomas (15 points) and Colleen Walsh (11 points) shared the load for the Devils while Kristin Smith (13 points) was the only Felician player to reach double digits. The Golden Falcons, now a game-and-a-half out of the last CACC North playoff spot, shot only 30% overall and went 4-18 from three-point land.
* Goldey-Beacom led from start-to-finish in their 68-56 decision over Post to keep within a game of the CACC South Division lead. The Lightning opened the game on a 7-0 burst and put together 9-0 and 11-0 first half runs, as well, and went into the break with an unassailable 51-29 halftime lead. Britani Bryson (18 points), Tanner Turner-Rush (11 points) and Marisa Howard (10 points) sparked the winners, who shot well from the floor (46% FG) and from behind the arc (6-17 3FG). Taylor Ceballos (23 points, 10 boards), Tyra Jones (12 points) and Deasia Acklin (10 points, 8 rebounds) racked up most of the numbers for the Eagles, who had a good day on the glass (43-34) but a bad one from three-point territory (0-11 3FG) to seal their fate.
* LeMoyne shot 54% overall, made 12-24 from three-point range and compiled a 24/12 assist/turnover ratio to repel AIC in Syracuse, 85-72. The Dolphins held a modest 44-38 halftime lead but a 14-1 jaunt (inlcluding four three-pointers) stretched the margin to 70-52 late in the third frame. The Yellow Jackets made a push in the fourth quarter via an 11-0 burst to come within 76-70 at the 2:20 mark but they ran out of gas and LC popped in a 9-2 response to close the game. McKayla Roberts (24 points, 8 assists, 8-9 FG, 5-6 3FG) was sharp for LC while Joanna Dobrovosky (career-best 19 points; 10 boards), Liz Millea (11 points, 6 assists) and Ellie Leszyk (11 points) all played well in support. Alyssa Guyon (19 points) and Dana Watts (18 points, 9 boards) led the AIC effort. The Jackets were good at the line (15-18 FT) and with the ball (14 assists, 9 turnovers) but shot only 39% and saw their three-game winning streak end. LC, on a four-game winning run, is in third place in the NE-10 Southwest Division, only a game behind AIC.
* Four players notched double digits for St. Anselm, which knocked off Merrimack, 57-43, and now sit alone in second place in the NE-10 Nlortheast Division. Candace Andrews (16 points), Caitlyn Abela (13 points, 8 caroms), Ali Glennon (12 points) and Kaila Duarte (11 points, 12 rebounds) all chipped in for the Hawks, who held a 24-22 halftime lead. A 10-0 burst, capped by an Abela trey, gave them the lead for good (40-33) and they used an 8-1 fourth quarter run to bury the Warriors (49-39, 3:40). My'Asia Alston (16 points, 7 boards), Lindsay Werner (11 points) and Denia Davis-Stewart (career-high 16 rebounds) were the pick of the lot for MC but 28% shooting didn't help, and they are a game out of the NE-10 Northeast playoff picture as a result.
* The second quarter proved to the key for St. Thomas Aquinas as they beat the University of the District of Columbia in Sparkill, 63-47. STAC was ahead, 19-13, after one frame and didn't allow the Firebirds to make a single field goal in the second period (0-13 FG), out-scoring UDC 17-3 to craft a non-refundable 36-16 halftime lead. Alex Bertolino (15 points), Kaitlyn McCue (13 points, 6 rebounds) and Jenna Erickson (10 points) reached double digits for the Spartans, who won their third in succession to stay in third place in the ECC. Bianca White (13 points), Tyra Coombs (10 points, 7 rebounds) and Kaylah Cooper (10 points) topped the UDC attack but they still lost for the fifteenth straight time. STAC's main team stat edge was points-off-turnovers, 18-9.
* Concordia snapped a twelve-game slide in the series with Philadelphia (going back to the 2004-'05 season), collecting an 83-69 CACC win over the Rams in Bronxville. The Clippers used 8-2 and 9-2 runs to build a 46-37 halftime advantage and they never llost it. The Rams did close the deficit, getting within 54-52 midway through the third period, but the Clippers scored the last fourteen points of the quarter to run away (68-52) for good. Jessica Rosalbo (21 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists), Amiya Rankins (career-high 19 points; 6 rebounds), Lyric Blanch (15 points) and Hadiyah Black (10 points, 10 caroms) all played big parts for Concordia, who shot 53% overall (8-12 3FG) and ruled the glass, 46-28. Philadelonly phia, with Rachel Day (19 points, 5-9 3FG), Alynna Williams (17 points) and Jessica Kaminsky (11 points) at the helm, was productive from three-point land (11-27 3FG) but shot 35% overall.
* Samantha Hyslip (20 points, 6 boards) and Courtney Walsh (19 points, 5-9 3FG) were vital for Stonehill as they avoided an upset from visiting Franklin Pierce in North Easton, 62-57. The Skyhawks led for much of the game yet never by more than seven points in this one. The game was tied at 31 at the half and 44 after three periods but Stonehill took the lead for good thanks to six straight foul shots (four by Walsh), 58-52, with 2:44 left. Dana Campbell hit a trey and Mikayla Deguire (21 points; career-high 12 rebounds, 10 of them offensive) scored to bring the Ravens within 58-57 at the 1:06 mark. That ended up as close as they came, as Hyslip scored the last four points to preserve victory for the home team. Sarah Middleton tossed in a career-high 19 points (in 40 minutes) for FPU, which had the upper hand in the paint (38-22) and off turnovers (27-11) but still sustained their fifteenth straight loss. The Skyhawks, who are in a three-way tie for third place in the NE-10 Northeast Division, made 6-11 from three-point land (FPU went 3-16 from deep) and hit 12-16 at the line to help their cause.
* NYIT moved into sixth place in the ECC (the final playoff slot) with a hard-earned 59-53 win over LIU Post. The Bears won this tight clash (seven ties and eleven lead changes) with the final nine points of the day, overturning a 53-50 Pioneer lead with 3:08 to go. LIU Post had claimed that edge with a 7-0 run, illustrating the nature of the contest (the teams were never separated by more than seven points). Nina Vukosavljevic (18 points, 4-8 3FG) drilled a three-pointer to tie it at 53 (1:59) and a Shanice Allen (11 points) hoop put NYIT ahead to stay at the 1:10 mark, 55-53. LIU Post went dry at the wroing time and single free throws by Maragaret Knollmeyer and Sofia Georgiadi (8 points, 10 boards) and a bucket from Allen finished it off for the Bears. Team numbers were close and neither team fared well at the line (NYIT 7-13; LIU Post 0-4 FT) but a 45-37 glass bulge did aid NYIT's effort. The Pioneers have dropped three in a row and are tied with Bridgeport, one game behind NYIT in the ECC ladder.
* St. Michael's established a fifteen-point halftime lead and held off a Southern New Hampshire charge to annex a 79-67 NE-10 Northeast Division win in Vermont and stay in a three-way tie for third place in the division. The Purple Knights, ending a three-game slide, raced to a 45-30 lead at the break but the Penmen shaved the gap down to as little as six points in the third quarter. SNHU was within three points a number of times in the last period, the final time at 66-63 (5:07). SMC responded with a 12-2 biomb that salted the game away, the run peppered by eight free throws. Brianna Purcell (career-best 20 points), Indira Evora (14 points, 5 assists), Leah Spencer (13 points, 8 rebounds) and Emily Ferreri (12 points) shared the duties for St. Mike's, who were +10 on the glass (40-30), won the points-off-TO's tally (27-7) and shot better (46%-36%). Both teams were accurate at the foul line (SMC 23-28; SNHU 19-20 FT). Kylie Lorenzen (15 points, 12 rebounds), Molly Terry (11 points) and Victoria Dean (10 points) were atop the SNHU scoring list but with the loss they are now three games out of the final NE-10 Northeast playoff spot.
* Make it five wins on the trot for Wilmington, who posted a 76-68 decision over Nyack to pull into a tie for third place in the CACC South Division with Chestnut Hill. They grabbed the lead early (a 12-0 first period run) and led 36-27 at the half. The Warriors stayed in touch until a 14-2 jaunt to end the third period pushed Wilmington's lead to 54-35, all but deciding this one. LaShyra Williams (21 points, 8 boards) and Macy Robinson (19 points) led the way for the Wildcats with good depth coming from Jocelyn Rodriquez (10 points, 6 steals) and Jasmine Lee (10 points). Tayelor McCalister (14 points), Japria Karim-Duvall (13 points, 7 boards) and Janea Bailey (9 points, 12 rebounds) were at the heart of Nyack's effort but were unable to end what is now a seven-game slide. WU was much better from the field (53%-36%), balancing off Nyack's 45-31 rebound bulge.
* Dominican utilized a balanced attack (five players between 11-17 points) and surged past Chestnut Hill in the second half to earn a 78-67 CACC win and consolidate third place in the North Division. Following a 30-30 halftime deadlock, the Chargers used 7-0 and 9-0 runs to build a 57-44 lead late in the third period. The Griffins saw their hopes dissipate in the fourth quarter, as DC started the stanza on an 11-2 flurry (68-52, 6:12) and kept CHC at least eight points away from then on. Rebecca Rabeiro (17 points), Jasmine Gee (15 points, 6 boards) and Lisa Bouffard (14 points) led the DC offense, one that shot 44% and held CHC to 33% at the other end. Shannon Glenn (career-best 26 points; 5-8 3FG) was a big positive for the Griffins with Vicky Tumasz adding 17 points. Chestnut Hill sees a four-game win streak end and drops into a tie for fourth place in the CACC South as a result of the defeat.
* The College of Saint Rose snapped a four-game downturn with a 54-42 win at New Haven, keeping their grip on fourth place in the NE-10 Southwest Division. The Chargers led at the half, 26-25, thanks to a late 6-0 run from Allieyah Cubbage, but the Golden Knights took a measure of control with an 11-2 surge in the third frame to go ahead for good, 40-34. It was still close in the last period (45-40) but Saint Rose produced a 9-0 binge to put the result beyond doubt (54-40). Taylor Nazon (17 points), Staci Barrett (12 points) and Karissa Birthwright (15 rebounds) led the troops for the Golden Knights while Micah Womack (11 points, 14 rebounds) was the best bet for UNH, who shot poorly across the board (27% FG, 4-23 3FG, 4-7 FT) and lost their third in a row.