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Women's basketball wins Brockport Tip-Off Tournament

by Paul Cifonelli - Sports Editor
Tue, Nov 19th 2019 09:00 pm
Sophomore Allison Chiera jumps for the opening tip against Keuka College on Saturday, Nov. 16.
Sophomore Allison Chiera jumps for the opening tip against Keuka College on Saturday, Nov. 16.

After a season where The College at Brockport women’s basketball team made a surprising run to the semifinals of the SUNYAC Tournament, all but three players returned for the 2019-20 season. Forward Emily Nestler was the only player to graduate, but she led the team in both scoring and rebounding. Through the first three games of the new campaign, Brockport has more than filled that hole en route to a 3—0 start.

After defeating the Rochester Institute of Technology 65-64 on a three-pointer in the last 10 seconds by senior guard Bailey Pratt, Brockport had to refocus to take on Alfred University in the first round of the Brockport Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Nov. 15.

The Golden Eagles controlled the game from the opening tip, taking a 37-17 lead into the halftime break. Junior guard Julianna Taylor scored 10 of her team-high 12 points in the first half. After the break, Brockport was able to coast to a 68-47 victory. Sophomore forward Kylee Rosbrook and Pratt were the only other Golden Eagles with double-digit points. Each of them had 10 apiece. Rosbrook also paced the team with seven rebounds, while sophomore forward Nicole Leslie trailed her with six.

The next day, Brockport took on Keuka College for the tournament championship. Keuka defeated Medaille College 53-50 in the first round. Just one day after spreading minutes around to her backups, head coach Corinne Jones relied much more heavily on her experienced starting five. Those five, along with some help from the reserves, propelled the Golden Eagles to the tournament victory.

Brockport’s defense was the key to taking down Keuka, as it held the Wolves to just 38 points. Keuka scored 13 of its 38 points in the first quarter before the Golden Eagles defense really set in. After the 16-13 first quarter, Brockport had opened up a 20-point lead by the end of the third. The two teams combined for only 15 in the fourth quarter. Keuka did not have the offensive weapons to crack the Golden Eagle defense and left with a 59-38 defeat.

Just like the game before, Pratt, Rosbrook and Taylor were the only three players with 10 or more points. Pratt led the way with 16, displaying incredible efficiency in the process. She made four of her seven three-point attempts. Rosbrook and Taylor each had 12 points, but Rosbrook recorded a double-double with her 13 rebounds. Rosbrook also provided a solid presence in the paint, blocking two shots.

After the game, Pratt was named Tournament MVP and Taylor was selected to the All-Tournament team.

For Pratt, Rosbrook and Taylor, splitting shots could be a problem if someone begins to get hot. Despite the concern, the team has succeeded with the three of them working together to take a majority of the shots while keeping the rest of the team involved as well. According to Taylor, there has not been any shot-sharing difficulties yet.

“It’s all about getting everyone else involved,” Taylor said. “I don’t ever worry about who is going to score because everyone on the team can score. If we work as a team on the offensive end we will be a hard team to guard. Kylee, Bailey and I each have a different role in our offense and we all take pride in that role.”

With a 3—0 record to start the season, including the big win over RIT, Brockport’s next game was against the University of Rochester on Tuesday, Nov. 19. The Golden Eagles have all the confidence in the world and believe they have what it takes to topple a perennial power in Rochester.

“The fact we were able to win on Tuesday against RIT shows how far the program has come,” Pratt said. “A lot of the younger players put in some big minutes toward the end of the game and that will only help us down the stretch. The two games this weekend boosted everyone’s confidence and it was awesome that everyone on the team was able to see the floor. I think we are ready for Tuesday [against Rochester] to keep the record alive.”

After taking on the Yellowjackets, Brockport has one more game before it takes its annual break for final exams. The Golden Eagles host William Smith College on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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