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Women's basketball team commits 20 turnovers in 76-56 defeat to Blue Angels; Knights still clinch HVIAC Tournament with Warriors' loss to The King's College (NY)

Women's basketball team commits 20 turnovers in 76-56 defeat to Blue Angels; Knights still clinch HVIAC Tournament with Warriors' loss to The King's College (NY)

The Berkeley College women's basketball team dropped a Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game this evening, falling to the Blue Angels of the College of New Rochelle by a score of 76-56. The game took place at the Wellness Center on the campus of the College of New Rochelle. With the loss, Berkeley dipped to 7-10 on the year, and 3-1 in league play. The Blue Angels improved to 8-11 on the season, and 4-1 in conference action. Following the loss, Head Coach Alex Kuchar gave his thoughts.

"Unfortunately, we weren't very efficient tonight in many aspects of the game," Kuchar said. "We struggled shooting the basketball – not only from three-point territory, but also at the free throw line. And we uncharacteristically turned the ball over 20 times, as well. We need to be much more efficient if we want to be the conference champions 11 days from now, because there are many teams in this conference – including the one we just played – that will have a chance to win it. We'll regroup and get ready for a pair of road games this weekend."

The Knights have now lost four consecutive regular season games to the Blue Angels, and haven't beaten the College of New Rochelle since January 14, 2014 (Berkeley won 62-53 that evening).

Berkeley College did receive some positive news after the game, however. With Vaughn College's loss to The King's College (NY), the Knights clinched a spot in the 2017-2018 HVIAC Tournament. The Knights' seed is still to-be-determined, with Berkeley possibly entering the fray as a No. 1,2, or 3 seed, depending how things transpire across the conference. 

Despite the loss for the Knights,  Ayana Ratliff, scored a team-high 17 points. She also added a game-high five steals while recording four assists and grabbing four rebounds. Ashley Duplan netted 13 points while snatching eight boards. Jaiyamoira Myers added 12 points, nine rebounds, a pair of assists, and a pair of steals, and Ebony Lofton contributed eight points and a team-high 12 rebounds.

In the victory for the Blue Angels, the College of New Rochelle was paced by Dar'Neisha Brice, as she scored a game-high 22 points while grabbing five rebounds, tallying five assists, and recording four steals. Chelsea Thomas scored 15 points while adding six caroms and recording two assists, and Melissa Perez netted 13 points and collected eight rebounds.

New Rochelle set the tone for this game early, racing out to a commanding 16-4 lead just 5:51 into the game. The Blue Angels would eventually build that lead to 16 points – 22-16 – with 2:58 remaining in the opening quarter. Berkeley would finish the period strong, however, scoring six consecutive points to slice New Rochelle's lead to 10 – 22-12 – after 10 minutes of action.

In the second quarter, the Knights would stay within striking distance, but the College of New Rochelle's Melissa Perez would nail a three-point shot at the buzzer to send her team into the locker room with 37-23 lead.

The third quarter was the highest-scoring period of the evening, with the teams combining for 44 points. Unfortunately for Berkeley College, the Blue Angels would win the quarter, outscoring Berkeley College by a count of 25-19. The College of New Rochelle led by as many as 21 points in the fourth quarter, and would never let the Knights get any closer than 13 points down. The Blue Angels would go on to win the crucial conference contest by 20.

Neither team shot the ball well, with New Rochelle netting just 34.1 percent of its attempts from the floor (31-79), compared to 31 percent for the Knights (21-66). The Blue Angels drilled just seven of their 24 attempts from downtown (29.2 percent), while Berkeley College connected on just three of its 20 attempts from beyond the arc (15 percent). The Blue Angels held a slim 52-46 edge in the rebounding department, while also winning the turnover battle, committing 16 miscues compared to 20 for the Knights. New Rochelle recorded 18 assists on the night, compared to 11 for Berkeley College.

Berkeley College will return to action on Saturday afternoon, as the Knights will travel to Summerdale, Pennsylvania to face Central Penn. Start-time for that contest is set for 3:00pm. It'll be the first meeting between the two teams since November 23, 2015, when Berkeley turned back Central Penn by a score of 58-39 in a game that took place at the College of New Rochelle.