BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Entering the week with an 8-8 record in conference play, the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) women's basketball team can clinch sixth place and the final seed in the Skyline Championships with a win or an SJC Long Island loss. The Bears open the week with their final home game of the season taking on Mount Saint Mary as the opener of a Hill Center doubleheader (Feb. 13), and close out the regular season in Patchogue going head-to-head with the seventh place Golden Eagles (Feb. 17).
Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 5 p.m.
vs. Mount Saint Mary
- The Bears are coming off of a blowout victory on the road over Sarah Lawrence (Feb. 10) fueled by a huge performance from freshman guard Kelly O'Donnell. O'Donnell poured in a game-high 22 points (10-for-19 FG) while breaking the program's single-game steals record (10), and she came close to her first career triple-double with eight rebounds. Two days earlier, in St. Joseph's double-digit loss at Old Westbury (Feb. 8), the 5-foot-10 freshman impressed with team highs of 17 points and seven rebounds as she was awarded her third-straight Skyline Rookie of the Week honor (sixth of season) by the league yesterday.
- Mount Saint Mary hasn't lost a single game in 2018 and they enter play as the hottest team in the conference riding a 12-game winning streak that began on January 3. This past week the Knights played three times and came away with three Skyline victories, beginning with an 83-41 dismantling of Yeshiva (Feb. 4). MSMC then traveled to Farmingdale and avenged their only Skyline loss of the season to the Rams (Dec. 14) with a 53-48 victory, their closest conference win along their win streak. On Saturday (Feb. 10), the Knights took down a very solid USMMA squad by 12 points, led by 11 from Janae Graham as five different players scored at least seven.
Keys to the Contest
- Along with O'Donnell, junior captain Victoria Porcasi has been playing well with contributions of 13 points, four rebounds, and two helpers in the win over Sarah Lawrence and 15 buckets, five dimes, and two steals against Old Westbury. Porcasi has scored in double-figures for eight-straight games, while O'Donnell has done so in 21-straight, as the two of them reside within the Skyline's top-five scorers. On the defensive end, graduate forward Taylor Raccuglia has been getting it done all season, and for her whole career for that matter, as her rejection at 6:13 in the third quarter versus Sarah Lawrence set a new Bears' all-time record for blocks (182), a title that was previously held by assistant coach Samantha Retas '15. In the standings, SJC claims sole possession of sixth place, the final playoff seed, with an 8-8 Skyline record and two games remaining (both league). To clinch, the Bears need a win or an SJC Long Island loss...the two play each other for the regular season finale (Feb. 17) in Patchogue.
- For the season MSMC has been led by senior forward Jessica Rini and her 13.4 points per game, but offense isn't their claim to fame. Mount Saint Mary has suffocated teams all year long, and their league-leading 49.9 points allowed per game are proof that scoring is hard to come by for their opponents. The Knights have clinched the top seed in the Skyline Championships having defeated every team, besides Farmingdale, two times. Additionally, they came in at fifth in the Atlantic region in the most recent NCAA DIII rankings (Feb. 7).
- The Bears have lost five-straight to Mount St. Mary, with their last victory (70-60) coming in 2013-14 (Jan. 4).
Saturday, Feb. 17 at 1 p.m.
at SJC Long Island
- The Golden Eagles are currently fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive, needing a win in each of their last three games for a chance to compete in the Skyline Championships. Most recently, they lost a one-sided game to Old Westbury (Feb. 10) as five Panthers reached double-figures and the LI defense allowed their highest point total all season (107). Their last win came this past Thursday at Yeshiva (72-66), led by Andrea Iavarone's massive 21-point 24-rebound double-double.
Keys to the Contest
- When these squads last met (Feb. 6) Brooklyn's scoring duo Porcasi and O'Donnell each posted career highs in points, combining for 66 points as both enjoyed 30-point outbursts. Simultaneously, Iavarone had a career night herself notching a triple-double of 25 points, 24 rebounds, and 10 blocks. WIth plenty of stat stuffers on the floor and potentially a playoff spot hanging in the balance, Saturday's rivalry matchup will be an exciting one.
- The Golden Eagles lead the all-time series 14-11, but BK has won seven straight including a 94-72 victory at the beginning of last week (Feb. 6).