Wildcats Clinch #1 Seed on Senior Day; Will Host NEAC Tournament This Weekend
UTICA, N.Y. – The SUNYIT Women's Basketball Team (21-4, 15-2 NEAC) sewed up the top overall seed in the NEAC Tournament on Sunday with a win over visiting Wilson. It couldn't have been a better Senior Day for the Wildcats, as all five seniors scored points in the 70-33 blowout.
Before the game seniors Kwanisha Jones (Philadelphia, N.Y. / Indian River), Caitlin Cottell (Eatontown, N.J. / Red Bank Catholic), Sarah Couvillon (Saratoga Springs, N.Y. / Saratoga Springs), Nicole Sasu-Twum (Queens, N.Y. / Forest Hills), and Bianca Brown (Utica, N.Y. / Utica-Proctor) were honored for their commitment to SUNYIT Athletics. It would be hard to imagine a better weekend for them – on Saturday the Wildcats set a school record for wins in a season, beating Morrisville for their 20th of the year, and with Sunday's win the ladies earned the right to host the 2011-12 NEAC Championship Tournament this upcoming weekend.
The struggling Phoenix of Wilson were overpowered almost right from the tip, as SUNYIT jumped out to a 24-5 lead over the first 11 minutes of the game. The extended cushion was a windfall, allowing Wildcat Coach Jessica Skelton to give extended minutes to seniors Nicole Sasu-Twum and Bianca Brown in particular. Sasu-Twum took advantage, filling up the stat sheet with 5 points (including a swished three-pointer to raucous cheers from the crowd), 3 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists.
The loudest cheer of the night, however, came with 2:35 left in the game, the Wildcats leading 64-31. After receiving a pass in the right post, SUNYIT center Sarah Couvillon's attempted layup sailed over the rim to the other side of the hoop, where none other than Bianca Brown was waiting for the offensive rebound and put-back. The bucket marked Brown's only points of the season, coming in the Wildcats' last regular season game of the year.
Almost lost amid the success of some of SUNYIT's reserves were the accomplishments of SUNYIT's regular contributors and seniors Kwanisha Jones, Caitlin Cottell, and Sarah Couvillon. Jones added two more assists to her already-school-record 473 assists, and started in her 104th game in four years. Cottell scored four points to add to her 786 career points, already 9th in the school record books, and Sarah Couvillon recorded her second double-double in the last four games.
SUNYIT will now get set to host the conference tournament this upcoming weekend. Game times are TBA.