BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) women's basketball team enters the sixth week of the season with a 7-9 overall record and a 6-5 mark in league play. Their last time taking the court was very successful, resulting in a 78-55 handling of Purchase on the road last Saturday (Jan. 13). Next, the Bears travel to Riverdale to do battle with Mount Saint Vincent (Jan. 24), followed by a trip to Merchant Marine on Saturday (Jan. 27).
Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.
at Mount Saint Vincent
- The Bears have been out of action for the past week and a half, as their last time taking the hardwood was two Saturdays ago (Jan. 13) at Purchase which resulted in a 78-55 runaway victory. Earlier that week SJC opened their road trip with a convincing loss to first-place Mount Saint Mary (Jan. 10). In the Purchase game the Bears saw four players reach double-figures, including junior captain Victoria Porcasi's (Franklin Square, N.Y./H. Frank Carey) 17 points vaulting her into the esteemed 1,000-point club.
- Mount Saint Vincent has been reeling as of late losing four-straight games and eight of their last nine since beginning the season 4-1. Their three most recent losses have all been by at least 12 points, as they fell to Old Westbury 70-56 on Saturday (Jan. 13) preceded by double-digit losses to Farmingdale State and Hunter College. Over the course of their losing streak junior guard Kelly Oliver has been a bright spot, averaging 12 points with a season-high tying 18 versus Hunter.
Keys to the Contest
- St. Joseph's enters play as winners of two of their last three games thanks in large part to three-time Skyline Rookie of the Week Kelly O'Donnell (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep). The freshman collected her second-straight 20 point game (fourth of the season) in the win over Purchase as well as six rebounds, five assists, and three steals. She is also riding a streak of 14-straight games in double-figures and has scored at least 10 points in all but one of her collegiate appearances. The scoring duo of her and Porcasi will be relied upon on Wednesday, as they combined for 40 points when the Bears downed CMSV at home in November.
- Despite their recent play, the Dolphins are one of just five teams in the league with a positive scoring margin (1.7) and their fourth-ranked defense allows just 61.1 points a night. Offensively, both Mount Saint Vincent and the Bears are three-point happy, as they make the fourth and second-most deep-balls per game respectively. Oliver is the Dolphins' main long-range threat, as she has attempted 79 more threes than the next highest player. Her all-around playmaking is key for her squad as they rely on her team-highs of 12 points and 3.2 assists per game to spark the offense.
- The Bears defeated Mount Saint Vincent 64-61 (Nov. 28) earlier this season but had previously lost six-straight to the Dolphins with their last win coming in 2012.
Saturday, Jan. 27 at 12 p.m.
at Merchant Marine
- Merchant Marine has enjoyed a successful 2017-18 thus far, entering the week with a 12-4 (8-3 Skyline) record that places them fourth in the league (one spot ahead of SJC). Most recently, the Mariners secured a last-second 62-61 upset of Old Westbury (Jan. 18) at home led by 20 points and the go-ahead layup from Kaleigh D'Arcy. Winners of four of their last five, USMMA's latest defeat came at the hands of Purchase (62-59) in another close finish (Jan. 16). Prior to hosting the Bears on Saturday, Merchant Marine welcomes Coast Guard to Kings Point in the Superintendents' Trophy Contest.
Keys to the Contest
- The Bears played host to USMMA at the end of November, resulting in a two-point loss despite a ferocious fourth-quarter comeback led by junior Nina DiCioccio (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep). In that contest St. Joseph's defense was difficult to overcome as they held their opponent to 33.3% field-goal and 17.6% from three. However, SJC wasn't nearly as sharp on the other side of the ball coughing up 21 turnovers and converting just 21.7% of their treys. Additionally, leading-scorer Porcasi was held to just 11 points without making a three-pointer. If they can keep the clamps on defense and bring the scoring up to speed the Bears could be poised for a pivotal win in their playoff push.
- SJC has lost three-straight to Merchant Marine and sits at 2-3 in the all-time series (last win: Jan. 29, 2003).