BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Sitting tied for sixth place in the Skyline Conference entering the week, the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) women's basketball team looks to rebound from back-to-back losses in front of their home crowd. In the past seven days, the Bears have won one and lost two games, topping Mount Saint Vincent (Nov. 28) at home and falling to Merchant Marine (Nov. 30) in close fashion followed by another home defeat to Old Westbury (Dec. 2).
This week the Bears will encounter just one opponent, Purchase State College, on Tuesday (Dec. 5) at The Hill Center wrapping up a five-game homestand to open Skyline play. Tuesday's battle is SJC's last game in preparation for two Division 1 foes next week.
Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m.
vs. Purchase State
- St. Joseph's enters play with a 3-4 overall record and a 1-2 mark within the Skyline tying them for sixth place with Yeshiva. They saw a three-game win streak halted last week with a loss to Merchant Marine, despite a valiant comeback late ending in a 61-59 defeat. Then, the Bears hosted first-place Old Westbury and hung around early, leading by a point at the half. Despite the Panthers storming back after the break, junior captain Victoria Porcasi (Franklin Square, N.Y./H. Frank Carey) notched a season-high 23 points (fifth 20+ point outing this year).
- The Panthers opened 2017-18 with back-to-back non-conference victories over John Jay College and Pratt, but are now riding a four-game losing streak featuring two Skyline defeats to Merchant Marine and Mount Saint Mary. In both losses junior guards Amber Jones and Kayla Ortiz surpassed 10 points, however, Purchase currently sits at 2-4 (0-2 league).
Keys to the Contest:
- Jones (team-high 20.2 ppg) and Ortiz (16.2 ppg) both enter play in the Skyline's top 10 scorers. Jones is second in the league in scoring, while also ranking third in field-goal percentage (54.9%) on an extremely high volume of 82 field-goal attempts which are the fifth-most in the Skyline. Purchase's high-powered attack is good for 67 points per game (ranked fourth) however their defense struggles to keep up, allowing 70.8 a night putting them at a -3.8 scoring margin compared to SJC's -3.6.
- Kelly O'Donnell (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) is riding a five-game streak of double-figure scoring and she leads the squad with 7.7 caroms a night. Right behind her is junior Caitlyn Staab (Lynnbrook, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) averaging 7.6 boards, as they will battle a Purchase frontcourt that allows the third-most rebounds per game in the league (52). SJC has attempted the most long-range shots in the Skyline this season and Purchase allows such attempts to drop at a 25% clip (fifth lowest).
- The Bears lead the all-time series 14-2 and took both head-to-heads last season, extending their winning streak against Purchase to five games.