Wildcats Survive 69-67; Will Face Keuka in NEAC Championship
UTICA, N.Y. – The SUNYIT Women's Basketball Team (22-4) prevailed on Saturday, 69-67 over Lancaster Bible College (15-13) in the semifinal game of the NEAC Conference Championship, which is being hosted by SUNYIT.
In the two teams' only match up earlier in the season, the Wildcats won easily. It was a different story on Saturday, as the game came down to the final play. Trailing by three with under ten seconds to go, Chargers guard Brooklyn Wilson drove the length of the court, stopping on the right wing just beyond the three-point line. Guarded closely by SUNYIT senior Kwanisha Jones (Philadelphia, N.Y. / Indian River), the 5'7" sophomore pumped once before attempting a desperation three-pointer. Jones took the bait, and with just .8 seconds remaining Wilson found herself on the free throw line with a chance to tie the game.
Wilson made the first, but after missing the second was forced to try an intentional miss on her third shot. SUNYIT sophomore Abbey Hanehan (Stillwater, N.Y. / Stillwater) grabbed the rebound to seal the game for the Wildcats.
The second match up for these two teams was a different story for one not-so-small reason: 5'3" guard Lauren Heliger. The junior from Reading, P.A. knocked down 11 of 24 shots on the day for a game-high 29 points, and team-high 11 rebounds.
The Wildcats were not without star power of their own, however, as recently crowned NEAC Player of the Year Lyndsey Brognano (Rome, N.Y. / RFA) led SUNYIT with 22 points on 6 of 13 from long-range. Brognano seemed to be there with an answer every time Lancaster seemed poised to turn the tide, including a three-pointer with just over two minutes to go, putting the Wildcats up 61-59. SUNYIT would keep the lead the rest of the way.
SUNYIT will face Keuka tomorrow in the NEAC Championship game slated to begin at 2:00 pm in the Campus Center Gym. The Storm won an overtime match up with NEAC South Division champion Penn St.-Harrisburg earlier in the day, 74-62.