Women’s Basketball Nearly Upsets First-Place Mount Saint Mary; Bears Still Clinch Playoff Berth

Women’s Basketball Nearly Upsets First-Place Mount Saint Mary; Bears Still Clinch Playoff Berth

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The Bears led regular season champion Mount Saint Mary by as many seven and led for more than half the game in their home finale, but the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) women's basketball team's upset bid fell short, dropping a 70-63 decision on Tuesday night. Six-time Rookie of the Week Kelly O'Donnell (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) logged a game-high 27 points and junior Victoria Porcasi added 17 points in defeat. Despite the loss, the Bears clinched their second Skyline Championships berth with SJC Long Island falling to USMMA this evening.

The Basics

  • Final Score: Mount Saint Mary 70, St. Joseph's 63
  • Records: St. Joseph's  (10-14, 8-9 Sky), Mount Saint Mary (19-5, 16-1 Sky)
  • Location: Brooklyn, N.Y. — The Hill Center
  • SJC Brooklyn Starters: Porcasi (G) O'Donnell (G) Sequeira (G) Raccuglia (F) Staab (C)

Turning Point

  • With the score tied 63-63 with two minutes remaining, the Knights would hold SJC scoreless and score their final seven points for the win.

How It Happened

  • The contest started out slow, with neither team scoring in the first 2:30 minutes of action. A Taylor Raccuglia (Brooklyn, NY/Bishop Kearney) made field goal put the Bears up two, 8-6 (4:35) and SJC would lead the rest of the first, ending the frame with a five-point advantage, 21-16, on the strength of 50 percent shooting (7-14).
  • The Knights would surge on top, 27-25, with an 8-0 run to take their first lead since early in the first. After three ties and three lead changes before the break, the Bears would momentarily regain the lead following a 5-0 run but the Knights provided their own 4-0 run to end the half trailing, 35-34.
  • Midway through the third, the game was tied 40-40, however a deep Kelly O'Donnell triple capped a 14-7 run to give the Bears their largest lead of the game seven, 54-47 (2:10), but the Knights held the Bears scoreless from that point to clip the deficit to 54-51 at the final break.
  • After an O'Donnell trey stretched the lead back to seven, 58-51, early in the fourth (8:52) before the Knights started to chip away at the deficit, scoring seven unanswered to knot the game up, 58-58 (6:30).
  • A Victoria Porcasi triple put the Bears up 63-62 with 2:12 to play but the Knights responded on the next possession and never trailed again. The visitors used back-to-back offensive rebounds to gain a layup that pushed the lead to three, 66-63 with under 30 seconds to play, but their ensuing three-point attempt to tie was blocked and the Knights sealed the win from the line.

For the Bears

  • The reigning Rookie of the Week Kelly O'Donnell (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) posted a game-high 27 points and crashed the glass eight times. She also added one steal and one block on defense.
  • Victoria Porcasi (Franklin Square, N.Y./H. Frank Carey) pitched in with 17 points and swatted one shot on the other end.
  • Fresh off becoming the program's blocks leader, graduate Taylor Raccuglia (Brooklyn, NY/Bishop Kearney) rejected a game-high four shots, with eight points, six boards, and one theft.
  • Caitlyn Staab (Lynbrook, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) active on the boards, grabbing a team-high 10.

Inside the Box Score 

  • The Bears and Knights shot fairly even from the field, going 35.5% and 32.5%, respectively, but the hosts were hampered by 14.3% (2-14) shooting over the final 10 minutes.
  • St. Joseph's held MSMC to zero made three-pointers in the entire game, while shooting a healthy 40.9% from behind the arc (9-22).
  • The Knights outrebounded SJC, 55-38, and dominated scoring in the paint, 42-12. They also parlayed 27 rebounds in the offensive end to 24 second-chance points.
  • SJC held the lead for 22:49

The Bear Facts

  • O'Donnell recorded her ninth 20-plus point game of the season, all in Skyline play.
  • Mount Saint Mary extended their winning streak to 13 games. The Knights have clinched the top seed and home-court advantage for the upcoming Skyline Championships beginning next week.

Next Up for the Bears

  • The Bears will travel to Patchogue, N.Y. to take on sibling rivals SJC Long Island this Saturday (Feb. 17). Tip-off is set for 1:00 p.m. with live stats and video available on SJCBears.com