Women’s basketball picks up NE-10 Conference victory with College of Saint Rose defeat
Edgar Ayala – Sports Writer
Southern’s women’s basketball team picked up their first Northeast-10 Conference victory by defeating the College of Saint Rose 70-60, Saturday afternoon inside Moore Field House.
After starting 0-3 in the NE-10 Conference, the Owls managed to rally back from a 10 point deficit at halftime and give the Golden Knights their third loss of the season. The Owls improve to 5-3 on the season, while Saint Rose falls to 4-3 overall.
“It was a huge win for us,” said sophomore guard Paige Decker. “We all came out with intensity, and we fed off each other’s intensity. We were just knocking down shots, and getting excited at the same time.”
Decker had a game to remember, posting a career-high 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. She added four rebounds and four assists on the night, all in a span of 26 minutes of play.
Team captain, Nicole Grossbard, said Decker played a “great” game and praised her on achieving a career-high night.
“She was focused and accepted her role of coming off the bench for the game,” said senior point guard Grossbard. “She had a great fire to her and played great defense, which contributed to her offensive performance. She did a good job of letting the game come to her.”
Southern started off the game trailing 9-0 until Grossbard’s three-pointer put the Owls on the scoreboard, breaking Saint Rose’s run and the Owls five minutes of scoreless play. Grossbard finished with nine points and dished out a team-high six assists, to go along with two rebounds and a block, in 37 minutes of action.
The Golden Knights would continue to dominate the first quarter until a 5-0 run by the Owls brought the score to 11-8. In the end, it was Saint Rose who finished the first quarter leading 14-11.
But it was a similar outcome to start the second frame, as the Golden Knights opened up the quarter with a 6-0 run and lead Southern Connecticut 20-11. Saint Rose’s Taylor Nazon hit a three-pointer as time expired. Ending the quarter with a 7-1 run, and take a commanding 29-19 lead at halftime.
“Coach [Lynch] encouraged us to continue to play hard,” said Grossbard on the coaches’ halftime talk. “Our shots weren’t falling in the first half but she encouraged us to continue shooting, get into the gaps of the zone and help get our teammates open.”
Saint Rose continued their momentum to start the third quarter when Karissa Birthwright field goal resulted the Golden Knights to have their biggest lead of the game at 31-20, two minutes into the quarter.
However, the Owls made a huge 15-4 run in the third to tie the game 35-35. But Southern didn’t finish there, as the Owls closed out the quarter outscoring the Golden Knights 24-10, and lead 43-39 at the end of the third.
Southern extended their lead to double digits two minutes into the fourth quarter, leading 52-42. The Owls continued to dominate the fourth as Grossbard pair of free throws in the final three minutes, gave Southern their biggest lead of the game, 62-46.
Saint Rose would cut the lead to seven points, but the Owls maintained their composure and finished the game 70-60.
“We know what they did on offense and defense,” said Decker. “In the first half it wasn’t working for us, but we just kept attacking the gaps. Then we started to knock down shots, and won. But we have to keep this roll up.”