Lady Bears Almost Steal Victory From Panthers

OLD WESTBURY, NY – After trailing for nearly the entire game and by as many as 11 points on multiple occasions, the St. Joseph's College women's basketball team pulled within two points in the final 1:35 but could not complete the comeback losing 63-61 to Old Westbury (7-3) on Wednesday night to close out 2009.

Sophomore guard Ashley McQuillan (Brooklyn, NY/St. Francis Prep), who paced the Lady Bears for the second straight game with 14 points, had a three-point attempt at the buzzer for the victory that nearly fell, hitting the back and front rim.

Also for St. Joseph's, freshman guard Stephanie Quick (Howard Beach, NY/Stella Maris)  broke the double-digit plateau for the first time in her career, scoring 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field, and surpassing her previous high of five points.  Senior center Julia Serewko (Woodside, NY/Mary Louis) set three game and season highs pulling down 16 rebounds (13 defensive), dishing out five assists and blocking four shots.  The 16 rebounds are the most by a Lady Bear since she grabbed 19 boards against New Hampshire Technical Institute on February 2, 2008.  McQuillan also had five assists to tie game-high honors.

Old Westbury turned in a pair of double-double performances with junior Brittany Jones (Elmont, NY/Elmont Memorial) scoring a game-high 15 points with 11 rebounds and a game-high five steals in 25 minutes of work.  Freshman guard Krystina Agard (Queens, NY/August Martin) netted 14 points and 10 rebounds while senior guard Carlie Moore (Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY/John S. Burke Catholic) added 14 points.

Old Westbury dominated the first half, opening a 15-4 advantage in the first five minutes.  St. Joseph's cut the deficit to five points on two separate occasions, but the Panthers responded both times extending their lead back to its largest margin of 11 points, before taking a 35-26 lead into the lockers.

St. Joseph's opened the second half with a 15-5 run capped by a McQuillan triple that gave the Lady Bears their only lead of the game, 41-40 with 13:42 remaining.  An Agard three-pointer kicked off a Panther 16-5 run to build back a 10 point lead with just under six minutes to play.  The Lady Bears fought back with an 11-2 run cutting the lead to a single point with 2:30 remaining.  Agard pushed the lead back to four points her second three-pointer and Serewko cut the lead to its final margin with a layup at the 1:35 mark.  Over the final minute, the Lady Bears had four good looks at equalizing the game, but could not get their shots to fall.

Both teams shot evenly with Old Westbury connecting slightly better at a 35.6% rate (26-for-73) to St. Joseph's 35.2% (25-for-71).  Both teams also struggled from the free-throw line shooting a combined 39.9% (13-for-33).  Old Westbury held a 52-41 rebounding advantage and utilized a 22-14 edge on the offensive glass to outscore St. Joseph's 20-10 in second chance scoring.  The Lady Bears committed fewer turnovers (35-31) in the sloppy game where both teams combined for 66 miscues.

Despite closing 2009 on a four game skid, St. Joseph's (4-7) fared well on the road against a strong Old Westbury squad who defeated a Brooklyn College team who handed the Lady Bears a 31 point loss at home.  The Lady Bears kick off the new year in California at the Whittier College Poets Classic where they face LaSierra University (0-15) and Whittier College (6-3) on January 2-3.