Release Courtesy of St. Joseph's Athletics
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Led by a career- and game-high 23 points from senior Kelly McNamee (Glendale, N.Y./Mary Louis) along with double-doubles from juniors Taylor Raccuglia (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Kearney) and Samantha Retas (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Kearney), No. 4 St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) women's basketball team upset No. 1 Berkeley College with a wire-to-wire, 73-59, triumph over the Knights in the semifinals of the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC) Tournament on Saturday evening at the CNR Wellness Center.
St. Joseph's (15-10, 4-2) makes their way to their sixth straight title game, while Berkeley (13-6, 6-0 HVIAC) has now lost in the semifinals of the tournament to the Lady Bears for the second consecutive year.
McNamee finished the night 6-of-15 from the field and went an impressive 10-of-12 from the charity stripe to record her fifth 20-plus point game this year. Raccuglia collected her fourth double-double of the season by way of 15 points and 11 rebounds, while adding a career-high-tying seven assists and three blocks to her stat line.
Retas notched her team-leading ninth double-double, finishing with 12 points and 13 rebounds along with three blocks. Senior Megan Moran (Syosset, N.Y./St. Dominic's) rounds out the quartet of Lady Bears to score in double digits, concluding the night with 12 points and four rebounds.
The Knights were led by Milan Germany who had 21 points, eight rebounds and a game-high-tying seven steals.
Raccuglia opened the scoring for St. Joseph's with a jumper just over 30 seconds in and the Lady Bears would use that start to build some momentum, taking their largest lead of the half, 18-10, at the 8:58 mark after a Retas layup.
Berkeley slowly clawed its way back to get within one, 25-24, with 2:36 left before half, but was never able to claim the lead as McNamee nailed two free throws just before half to send St. Joseph's into the lockers up 27-24.
The second half saw the Lady Bears come out of the break with something to prove as they began the half on a 9-2 run to build their lead to double digits for the first time at 36-26 with 17:16 left to play. St. Joseph's ballooned the lead to as many as 19, 49-30, at the 12:43 mark and it looked like the Lady Bears were going to put it into cruise control.
The regular season champs, realizing their season was slipping away, came back with an increased intensity on defense forcing many St. Joseph's turnovers to cut the St. Joseph's lead to 64-57 with 2:38 remaining, but the Knights were not able to get any closer as the Lady Bears sealed the win at the foul line.
St. Joseph's led by as many as eight during the first half, but Berkeley was able to get within striking distance as they headed into halftime down only three, 27-24.
The Lady Bears put an end to any idea of a Knights comeback with a 22-6 run to start the half that increased their lead to 19, 49-30, with 12:43 left in the second half and they maintained a double-digit lead for the majority of the frame.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Other Contributor: Jennifer Miller (7 pts, 8 reb)
- St. Joseph's shot an efficient 47.1 percent (24-of-51) for the game, including a blistering 53.8 percent (14-of-26) in the second half.
- The Lady Bears No. 1 ranked field goal percentage defense held Berkeley to 33.3 percent shooting (21-of-63) on the night.
- St. Joseph's camped out at the charity stripe going 24-of-35 (68.6 percent) compared to 12-of-25 (48.0 percent) by the Knights.
- The Lady Bears dominated the glass with a 54-28 edge.
- Despite St. Joseph's committing 24 turnovers compared to Berkeley's 11, the points off turnovers battle was tied at 16-16.
THE LADY BEAR FACTS
- The Lady Bears improve to 6-1 all-time against the Knights with the win.
- McNamee's career-best output puts her at 900 points for her career.
- Retas becomes the third Lady Bear to reach 100 blocks.
- St. Joseph's clinches their third straight season with a winning record in February.
NEXT UP FOR THE LADY BEARS – New Rochelle
The Lady Bears will play The College of New Rochelle tomorrow in the HVIAC Tournament Championship at The College of New Rochelle at 4 p.m.