Stony Brook, UNH Advance to Women's Basketball Semifinals
Albany, N.Y. -- No. 2 Stony Brook and No. 3 New Hampshire won their respective quarterfinal games in the first session of action at the 2014 America East Women's Basketball Championship on Friday afternoon at Albany's SEFCU Arena. The Seawolves downed No. 7 UMBC, 61-49, while the Wildcats upended No. 6 Vermont, 85-79. The two will meet on Sunday, March 9 in the semifinals at either 1:15 p.m. depeding on the results of the games in the late session.
Stifling defense and a balanced attack paced by 13 points from Jessica Ogunnorin and 12 by Chikilra Goodman allowed second-seeded Stony Brook to hold off seventh-seeded UMBC with a 61-49 win in the opening quarterfinal of the 2014 America East Women's Basketball Championship at SEFCU Arena Friday afternoon.
Stony Brook reaches the semifinals for the fourth time in program history and will bid for its second-ever trip to the title game on Sunday at at 1:15 p.m. SBU improved to 23-7, extending its school record for Division I victories.
Led by first team all-conference forward Sabre Proctor inside, Stony Brook dominated the glass with a 25-12 first half advantage and 42-35 for the game. The Seawolves also limited UMBC to 34% from the floor and forced 23 UMBC turnovers.
Ogunnorin scored nine in the first half but it was her team's defense that opened up a big lead after a tight game early on.
UMBC hit three of its first five field goals to start the contest before Stony Brook held the Retrievers without a field goal over an 11:10 span while going on an 18-0 run. SBU led by as many as 23 in the first half before UMBC's Emily Russo hit a three-pointer with a second left to make it 33-15 at the break. In the first half, the Seawolves held UMBC to just 28% from the floor, forced 14 turnovers and out-rebounded UMBC, 25-12.
After Stony Brook had its biggest lead, 47-29, with just under 11 minutes to go, a three-pointer by Liz McNaughton brought the Retrievers to within 12 with 2:23 left before the Seawolves closed it out at the free throw line to extend their winning streak to eight games.
In addition to Ogunnorin and Goodman, Proctor finished with 10 boards while Kristie Costantino came off the bench to score eight points, all in the second half including two big three-pointers. Stony Brook also shot 34% for the game but was 38% from behind the arc led by Goodman who was four-of-eight.
UMBC (4-25) was led by a pair of freshmen, forward Sara Tarbert with game-highs of 17 and 11 rebounds and point guard Emily Russo who scored 11. McNaughton added nine on a perfect three-for-three from three-point range.
Kelsey Hogan and Corinne Coia led a second-half charge as third-seeded New Hampshire topped sixth-seeded Vermont, 85-79, in the second quarterfinal of the 2014 America East Women's Basketball Championship at SEFCU Arena Friday afternoon. The closely contested game featured six ties and 14 lead changes before the Wildcats, with 52-point second half outburst, pulled away late in the contest.
UNH (19-11) moves on to the semifinals for the second straight year and 13th time overall to take on #2 Stony Brook, who defeated UMBC earlier in the day, Sunday at 1:15 p.m. (ESPN3).
A senior who was named to the America East All-Conference first team, Hogan was hampered by three first half fouls before busting out in the second half with 13 of her 18 points, going four-of-five from the floor and four-for-four from the line. Coia also came up big scoring 11 of her team-best 21 in the second half when the Wildcats bounced back from a five-point halftime deficit.
Freshman Jordan Eisler scored a career-high 22 and Niki Taylor and Kayla Burchill each added 18 to pace the upset bid by the Catamounts, who led by as many as seven early in the second half.
UNH had early leads in the first before Eisler hit a pair of three-pointers and had a lay-up in a 15-5 run to make it 29-25 in favor of Vermont with four minutes left. Kaylea Britton's inside bucket late in the period gave UVM a 38-33 advantage at the break.
The Wildcats bounced back after halftime, tying the game at 44-44 on a basket by Elizabeth Belanger, the first of four ties in the second half that also had seven lead changes. Vermont immediately answered with a Taylor hoop and a three-pointer by Kylie Butler. An old fashioned three-point play by Kaylee Kilpatrick gave UNH a 51-49 edge, its first lead since midway through the first.
After it was tied at 59-all with nine minutes to go, UNH took control going on a 14-4 run over with Hogan scoring five with just under four to go. Taylor and Eisler rallied the Cats back to within five twice inside the last three minutes before UNH closed it out at the free throw line by hitting eight-of-10 in the last 1:40.
Coia was seven-for-nine from the floor and added a team-high eight rebounds for the Wildcats who shot 53% from the field and committed just 11 turnovers. Belanger added 16 points, 12 in the second half surge and Ariel Gaston chipped in with 10. For the game UNH shot 77% from the line (24-for-31) and also went five-for-10 from three-point range with Hogan going two-for-two. New Hampshire's 52-point second half was the fourth-most points in a half in tournament history, and the 85 overall points were the most for a team in a tournament game since 2008 (Boston U., 2008).
Taylor made seven-of-11 from the floor, Eisler went nine-for-17 and Burchill hit seven-of-14 for the Catamounts who shot 45% for the game, had only 12 turnovers and also out-rebounded UNH, 41-33. UVM ends its season at 7-23 but loses only two seniors, Tonya Conley and Sam Simononis.