Today: Jun 17, 2024

Lady Owls extend streak to four

Pat Longobardi, Sports Writer-
Southern Connecticut State University’s inside play, including a double-double from Shelley Pierson and 11 rebounds from Moni Smith-Ocran, fought off a late Pace run to lead women’s basketball to a 53-52 upset win over Pace University, on Feb. 7 in a Northeast-10 Conference game at Moore Field House.
Southern led almost the whole game, and never relinquished the lead until the second half.
Southern quickly jumped to a 5-0 lead. Maral Javadifar got Pace on the board, 5-2, before calling timeout with 17:02 left. Southern went on a 13-3 run capped off by Pierson’s three-point play including a two inside plus a foul off of an in-bound pass, giving Southern a 22-12 lead. Keshia Primo made one of two free-throws, extending the lead, 23-12, with 8:34 left.
Pace then went on a 13-3 run of their own, cutting the lead to one, 26-25, with 3:24 left in the half. The two teams then went on a scoring drought without scoring a point, with turnovers and missed opportunities. The two teams had 23 turnovers combined in the half. Southern had 12 and Pace had 11. Both teams had 20 turnovers each for the game.
Smith-Ocran hit an inside jumper at the buzzer, after getting an offensive rebound off of a shot by Logan Lentz, to lead 28-25 at halftime.
“I think we showed a lot of character,” said Southern head coach Meghan Brown. “We had the lead kind of the whole game.”
In the second half, Southern pulled ahead 37-30 led by Pierson scoring five straight points.
Kerri White hit a three with 4:42 left, just avoiding a shot-clock violation, making it 45-39 Southern, before calling timeout.
Brittany Huggins later made a lay-up, assisted by Carol Johnson, capping off Pace’s 14-4 run, giving Pace their first lead of the game, 50-49, with 1:11 to play. Pace then called timeout to try and slow down the Owls.
Southern regained the lead, 51-50, when Sylvonya Moore hit a jumper with 52 seconds left. Pierson then hit two free-throws, making it 53-50, with 19.7 left.
Lentz commended Pierson on her free throws throughout the game, especially at the end.
“She (Pierson) has been working on that last summer and this season, and has made a lot of progress,” said Lentz.
Pace’s Brittany Shields hit a jumper with 1.5 to play. Pace fouled Lauren Allen with .5 left. Allen missed the free-throw, leaving the ball in play to end the game. Southern out-rebounded Pace, 44-37, including 27 defensive rebounds.
“I think this was one of our more solid games of the season,” said Brown.
Pace defeated Southern, 73-59, on Nov. 23, in Pleasantville, N.Y.
Huggins had 12 points in 31 minutes for Pace. Shields had 12 points, eight rebounds, two assists and one block. White had 10 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and three steals. Johnson had eight points, one rebound, one assist and five turnovers.
Southern is 10-13, 6-12 in the Northeast-10 Conference. Pace is 18-6, 12-6 in conference.
“Our goal is to make the you tournament and we have to keep that in perspective,” said Lentz.
Pierson led Southern with 15 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, three blocks and four steals in 28 minutes. Smith-Ocran also had nine points, two assists and one steal. Lentz had seven points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals in 39 minutes. Camille Fantini had four points, five rebounds, two assists and four steals in 37 minutes. Primo had seven points, two rebounds, three assists and one block, despite being in foul trouble.
Southern’s next home game is on Feb. 16 against Adelphi.

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