Today: Jun 17, 2024

Women’s basketball secures first NE10 win

Dillion Flanigan – Contributor

The university’s women’s basketball team defeated Adelphi University 56-46 in a back-and-forth thriller, winning their first NE10 in-conference game of the year. The Owls took their home court at James Moore Fieldhouse after a week off facing the Adelphi Panthers. 

“I think today was a much-needed win. I think we found a way to get the win even when things weren’t going our way,” said guard Hope Fox, a sophomore. 

In the first quarter, forward Ashley Evans, a senior, made a layup to put the first points on the board. The Owls took a 7-0 lead early. They wrapped a defense-laden first quarter up 16-6. 

“I was proud of the way they’d be prepared to speak. They really homed in on the scout, knowing their personnel, knowing what we needed to do defensively. We just have to kind of keep going in this direction,” Head Coach Kate Lynch said. 

The strong level of play continued into the second quarter but began to plateau at the end. The university took a 26-15 lead at the half. Forward Katie Williamson, a senior, carried her team, scoring eight of the 10 points in the quarter. 

“I think there was some in the second quarter where like, we had an opportunity to kind of put them away a little bit. We missed some open jumpers. Luckily, I thought defensively we were pretty good. So that kind of kept us in the game,” said Coach Lynch. 

To start the third quarter, Williamson scored, but the Owls played inconsistent defensively. Adelphi gained its first lead of the night at 32-30 with two minutes left in the third quarter. 90 seconds later, guard Delaney Haines, a junior, nailed a 3 pointer, taking the lead, and the Owls did not look back. 

“Obviously, the third quarter we kind of let the shooters go off, but I think we held their main scores to their average, and we just- We knew their plays, and we locked in on that. So, that was a big key,” said Fox. 

In the fourth quarter, the Owls offense exploded for 23 points as the defense came alive. The university controlled the quarter on both sides of the ball.  

In the final minute of the game, an eight-point deficit making victory well within reach for Adelphi, Williamson knocked down two free throws. As the clock expired, a defensive block by Williamson sealed the win for the university. 

“That’s kind of- that’s Katie’s game. That’s what she brings to our team,” said Coach Lynch.  

With four fouls in the game, Lynch and Assistant Coach Stephanie Hiriak-Lund had to decide when to put her back on the court even in foul trouble.  

“We didn’t want to do it too early; didn’t want to do it too late; didn’t want to, you know, to get that fifth foul to go out because she’s so important, you know, to us to our glue or gel team. So, she did great. She played within herself in those last few minutes,” said Coach Lynch. 

After a tough loss to Assumption University a week ago, the university needed to get a win on their home court, especially against a conference opponent.  

“I think today was a much-needed win. I think we found a way to get the win even when things weren’t going our way, and like, we just did the little things. Like, we won the boards. We got charges and deflections, and those added up at the end of the game,” said Fox. 

The Owls were not at full strength either. They were without starting guard Julianna Bonilla, a graduate, missing her third straight game. Starting in Bonilla’s place was Haines. 

“I think we had a good lead. I think we got a little too comfortable and took a quarter to like, get it back up and going,” said Haines.  

She finished with an assist and five defensive rebounds.  

The momentum swung in favor of the Owls, including Haines who had three three-pointers, all in the second half.  

“Towards the end, I think we just had a lot more energy once our shots started falling. All the energy as a team brings everybody up. So, just once our shots started falling, getting stops, we took the game to the end,” said Haines. 

Evans totaled two points, two assists and four rebounds while Jillian Martin, a senior, had nine points, two defensive rebounds and six assists in over 38 minutes, a season and career high in a single game.  

Williamson racked up 20 points, two assists, eight rebounds and a key block, and Fox accrued five points, three assists, eight rebounds and two steals over 36 minutes. 

“It feels good, but obviously I’m just out there trying to provide quality minutes for the team and just be like a reliable player, whether that’s offensively or defensively and just trying to find my role in whether it’s scoring or not scoring or taking care of the ball. I’m comfortable doing whatever is needed,” said Fox.  

In four games this season, Fox leads her team in average minutes per game at 35.5. 

“She rebounds the ball really, well. At her position she can shoot the three, she gets to the rim for us, even if she’s not necessarily scoring, she’s always out there doing something. We’re always going to tell her to get in the ice bath and really take care of her body. It’s a long season. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. So, we needed her out there and she did her job so proud of her,” Coach Lynch said. 

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