BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Sitting at fifth place in the Skyline Conference (6-8, 4-3) entering the week, the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) women's basketball team travels to Mount St. Mary College on Wednesday (Jan. 10) and Purchase State College on Saturday (Jan. 13) to continue their league-heavy 2018 schedule. The Bears will look to build upon a convincing home win in their last outing over Sarah Lawrence, as they trail Merchant Marine (9-3, 5-2) by just one game in the conference standings (as of Jan. 9).
Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m.
at Mount St. Mary
Coverage: Live Stats
- SJC is coming off of a 1-1 week (both Skyline games) in which they fell to Farmingdale State 84-55 on the road (Jan. 3), but rolled over Sarah Lawrence 87-42 to open a 2-0 St. Joseph's basketball doubleheader at The Hill Center last Saturday (Jan. 6). In the loss to Farmingdale, the Bears were led by Skyline Rookie of the Week Kelly O'Donnell's (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) 18 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks. O'Donnell cemented her third Rookie of the Week award with another 18-point performance versus Sarah Lawrence, on top of 13 rebounds (5 stl, 2 blk) for her fourth double-double of the season. Along with the star freshman, captain Victoria Porcasi (Franklin Square, N.Y./H. Frank Carey) shined against the Gryphons, scoring a career-high 28 points (Bears' single-game record eight 3FG) while moving into third all-time in career three-pointers in SJC history.
- The first-place (tied) Knights have enjoyed an 8-5 (6-1) start to 2017-18 and hold a two-game win streak entering play. Both wins came last week over Skyline opponents, as they downed Old Westbury 62-51 (Jan. 3) while holding the Panthers' leading scorer Charlotte Renker (14.3 ppg) to just five points. Senior forward Jessica Rini dropped 12 against OW for her fifth-straight game in double-figures, as well as securing 13 boards for her third double-double of the year. Next, Mount St. Mary battled Merchant Marine (Jan. 6) to the tune of a 69-47 runaway victory. Once again Rini shined, putting in a game-high tying 18 points with eight rebounds, two blocks, and two steals en route to her squad's sixth Skyline triumph thus far.
Keys to the Contest
- At the heart and soul of St. Joseph's offense is Porcasi, who enters play at third in the Skyline in scoring (17.6 ppg) and has reached double-figures in every game thus far. The junior has also scored 20+ points in three of her team's last four victories, proving her consistent offensive output is crucial to the Bears. In every SJC win this season both Porcasi and O'Donnell have dropped at least 10 points, so they should be prepared for the opposing scouting report to be centered around them. Additionally, recently promoted starting point guard Deserae Sequeira (Clark, N.J./Arthur L. Johnson) dished out a career-high eight dimes in the Sarah Lawrence game, largely due to her great chemistry with Porcasi and their adeptness in the drive-and-kick. The Bears have scored the third-highest points total in the league this year and if these three are rolling they shouldn't slow down in their next outing.
- Rini's 12.5 points per game rank first on the Knights and she leads her team by a wide margin with 156 field-goal attempts (just one from three). Therefore, limiting her inside game should draw heavy attention from Bears' defense that allowed its second-lowest scoring total last time out. Besides Rini, junior center Kayla Cleare is the only Knight averaging double-digits (11.4 ppg) on top of her team-high 9.2 caroms a night (t-eighth in Skyline). The Bears should look to pack the paint against MSMC's powerful frontcourt, as none of their players with at least 20 3FG attempts convert >30%.
- The Bears have lost four-straight to Mount St. Mary, with their last victory (70-60) coming in 2013-14 (Jan. 4).
Saturday, Jan. 13 at 12 p.m.
at Purchase State
Coverage: Live Stats
- Last week Purchase (4-6, 2-4; seventh) split their two games, beating Mount Saint Vincent 62-57 at home behind 30 combined points from Amber Jones and Nyasia Harris. The difference in the close battle was second-chance points, as the Panthers amassed 21 compared to their opponent's 10 leading to their second league win of the year. Subsequently, they suffered a 20+ point loss to Farmingdale, again on their home court. The backcourt duo of Jones (19) and Kayla Ortiz (21) combined for 40 points but received little help in defeat. Before Saturday's game against the Bears, Purchase travels to Bronxville to take on Sarah Lawrence on Wednesday (Jan. 10).
Keys to the Contest
- The Panthers boast two of the Skyline's top six scorers in Jones (first, 18.6 ppg) and Ortiz (t-fifth, 16.9 ppg), but fell to SJC 62-50 at The Hill Center back on Dec. 5. A stagnant offense was the issue for Purchase in that loss, as they chucked up 30 threes while hitting an uninspiring four (13.3% 3FG) and mustered just seven assists. The Bears 17 assists, 27.6% mark from deep, and three scorers in double figures (led by Porcasi's 20) propelled them to victory and should remain keys to the game this time around.
- The Bears lead the all-time series 15-2 and have won six-straight head-to-head.