Lady Bears Fall to USCAA Rivals Apprentice

BROOKLYN, NY – In a USCAA battle that pitted two top 15 teams and perennial rivals, the #12 St. Joseph's College women's basketball team held a 30-26 advantage at halftime but couldn't hold off #7 Apprentice School, falling 66-59 on Saturday evening at Brooklyn Technical High School. Sophomore Janine Doran (South Ozone Park, NY/Archbishop Molloy) paced the Lady Bears in defeat scoring 14 points and falling one rebound shy of a double-double.

Apprentice improves to 12-5 and 9-3 in USCAA play, while St. Joseph's falls to 7-11 and 1-3 against USCAA foes, with all three losses coming at the hands of higher ranked top 10 squads. The Lady Builders extend their advantage in the all-time series to 10-2 and have won the last seven meetings.

A Denise Hamilton steal and layup gave Apprentice an eight-point lead at the 7:52 mark of the opening stanza, but St. Joseph's closed out the half on 17-5 run to hold a four point lead at the break.

Doran scored seven points in the first five minutes of the second half to help the Lady Bears extend their advantage to eight points, 38-30. But a series of four poor Lady Bear turnovers and sparked by eight straight points from Jasmine Pringle allowed Apprentice to assemble a 14-2 run in just over two minutes and take a 44-40 lead.

Apprentice led for most of the remainder of the half, until an Ashley McQuillan (Brooklyn, NY/St. Francis Prep) jumper at the 2:51 mark with the shot clock winding down completed a 10-2 Lady Bears run that gave St. Joseph's back the lead. But it would be short-lived as the Lady Builders took the lead back for good on the next possession.

St. Joseph's remained within one possession, down 62-59 with 0:20 remaining, but a costly turnover in the backcourt on the inbounds pass sealed the Lady Bears fate. Sloppy play and turnovers plagued both teams with both teams combining for 64 turnovers (Apprentice 33, St. Joseph's 31) and nearly half the game's scoring coming off miscues.

Apprentice was led by Tysheka Simpson's 18 points with five steals and four assists, all game-highs. The Lady Builders' depth also proved to be a factor placing two reserves in double figures combining for 35 points (compared to 15 for St. Joseph's), with Jasmine Pringle and Denise Hamilton adding 12 and 10 points, respectively. Danita Whitaker grabbed a game high 12 rebounds.

Doran finished in double figures for the ninth time this season and nearly her third double-double. Megan Moran (Syosset, NY/St. Dominic's) contributed 13 points and pulled down five rebounds. McQuillan finished with 10 points and a trio each of assists, steals and rebounds. Allison Kavanagh (Woodhaven, NY/Mary Louis) chipped in eight points, her best outing since rejoining the team.

St. Joseph's has another short turnaround making the trip across the Verrazano Bridge on Monday, January 24th to take on CUNY rival College of Staten Island at 6 p.m. The Lady Bears look to earn their first win ever against the Dolphins and regain some momentum before a three-game stretch of Hudson Valley Women's Athletic Conference games.