BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The sixth-place St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) women's basketball team will look to maintain their playoff qualification taking on three Skyline opponents this week. They are coming off of a 1-1 past seven days that saw them fall at home to Farmingdale (Jan. 30) and convincingly handle Yeshiva at The Hill Center (Feb. 1). Now, at 8-12 (6-7 league), the Bears are set to battle sibling rival SJC Long Island this Tuesday (Feb. 6) to wrap up a three-game homestand, then travel to Old Westbury (Feb. 8) on Thursday and Sarah Lawrence (Feb. 10) on Saturday. To promote breast cancer awareness, the Bears will be sporting their pink uniforms all week, while Tuesday's matchup with the Golden Eagles is 2017-18's Play4Kay game.
Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m.
vs. SJC Long Island
- Despite a career-high 23 points from junior center Caitlyn Staab, the Bears couldn't overcome Farmingdale last Tuesday, falling 87-74. In addition to her career high, Staab notched 11 rebounds completing her first career double-double, while four-time Skyline Rookie of the Week Kelly O'Donnell picked up her team-leading sixth of the year in defeat (14 pts, 13 reb). In the Yeshiva game, O'Donnell led her squad to an 81-60 victory with team-highs of 25 points and eight boards. Staab added 16 points in the win, and junior captain Victoria Porcasi chipped in 11 with season-highs of seven assists and four steals (26 pts vs. Farmingdale). The split moved the Bears into sixth-place in the Skyline standings (6-7), one spot below Mount Saint Vincent (7-7) and one above Purchase (5-9).
- The Golden Eagles opened last week with a win-streak-extending 85-29 rout of Sarah Lawrence (Jan. 30), led by 27 points and 14 caroms from three-time Skyline Player of the Week Andrea Iavarone to highlight three LI double-doubles. Two days later they saw their run of three-straight victories snapped at Mount Saint Vincent (Feb. 1) by a one-sided final score of 90-64. In the loss, Iavarone collected her fifth-straight double-double (22 pts, 16 reb), while guard Jennifer Gubell added 20 points for her fourth game with 20+ of the year. The Golden Eagles' road struggles continued on Saturday, dropping a showdown with Purchase 97-78 bringing their record to 7-12 (4-8 league), good for seventh place (tied with Purchase).
Keys to the Contest
- Successful spreading of the wealth is always a plus on the basketball court, and the Bears have exemplified this as their last two victories have seen four players score in double-figures. To spearhead the ball movement and offensive production, BK has looked to Porcasi and O'Donnell all year long, as they're part of a three-way tie for third in the league in scoring (16.9 ppg). Meanwhile, freshman point-guard Deserae Sequeira (3.6 apg) has done a fine job getting them the ball, entering the week among the Skyline's top-10 assisters (ninth). In fact, she's served up at least three dimes in the Bears' last eight games, including back-to-back outings with seven (Jan. 27 & 30) and a career-high eight against Sarah Lawrence (Jan. 6).
- Iavarone is the backbone to everything LI does, coming in atop the conference in scoring (20.4 ppg) as the only Skyline player averaging 20 points. The senior also dominates the glass whenever she's on the floor, ranking first in rebounding (15.6/game). Her efficiency is one of the strengths that make her so effective, as she leads the Skyline in FG% (min five FGM/game) with a 55.4% mark and is tied with O'Donnell for first in FT% (min 2.5 FTM/game) hitting 78.2% of her attempts. Iavarone will look forward to battling a BK frontcourt that allows the sixth-most boards per game in the conference (47.1).
- The Golden Eagles lead the all-time series 14-11, but BK has won six straight including an 87-76 home victory at the end of last season. This is their first matchup of 2017-18.
Thursday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m.
at Old Westbury
- Similar to SJCLI, the Panthers began last week by extending their win streak to three games but saw it broken in their next contest. Old Westbury downed Purchase last Tuesday (Jan. 30) 57-49 on the back of a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double from junior center Charlotte Renker. The post star was limited to just five points in her team's next game, at home versus Mount Saint Mary, as the Panthers were held to a season-low 38 points in the loss. OW is yet to lose back-to-back games this season as they opened the campaign with nine-straight triumphs, while they enter the week at 16-3 (10-3 Skyline) placing them at second in the standings. Before hosting the Bears, they welcome Yeshiva to the Clark Athletic Center on Tuesday (Feb. 6).
Keys to the Contest
- Old Westbury's offense can often be described as prolific, as they lead the league in points per game (77.4 ppg) by a sizeable margin (next best - 70.1). They boast four players averaging at least seven points a night, paced by Renker's 14.3 and classmate Monique Joseph's 12.8. The Panthers are no slackers on defense either, entering the week as the only Skyline squad that has yet to allow 1,000 total points in 2017-18 (967). When these team met in December, Renker (16 pts, 20 reb) and Joseph (10 pts, 14 reb) controlled the game, despite 23 points from Porcasi, as OW came away with a 79-57 win.
- Old Westbury controls the all-time series 18-9 and have won seven straight.
Saturday, Feb. 10 at 1 p.m.
at Sarah Lawrence
- The Gryphons are in the midst of their inaugural varsity season in women's basketball and have compiled a 1-17 (0-13 Skyline) record thus far. Last week, SLC dropped two league games, first at SJC Long Island (Jan. 30) 85-29, then at home against Farmingdale (Feb. 1) 93-35. Despite the one-sided defeats, junior guard Taryn Penna scored 14 and 15 points respectively to lead her team.
Keys to the Contest
- In January, when these two programs met for the first time ever, the Bears rolled to an 87-42 win at The Hill Center. Sarah Lawrence hung around for just one quarter (25-21), as St. Joseph's ran away to their largest victory margin of the year. Porcasi shined versus the Gryphons, scorching the net for a career-high 28 points, powered by a program record eight 3PM. O'Donnell secured an 18-point, 13-rebound double-double to compliment the captain, as the two of them will square off against Penna who scored a team-high 20 in the first meeting.