The Berkeley College women's basketball team earned mix results this weekend, splitting a pair of games against Central Penn and HVIAC foe Davis College. On Saturday, Berkeley picked up a thrilling 71-69 victory over Central Penn in Summerdale, Pennsylvania. And earlier today, the Knights suffered a 72-61 loss to the Falcons of Davis College in Johnson City, NY. With the 1-1 output this weekend, the Knights are now 8-11 on the 2017-2018 campaign, and 3-2 in HVIAC competition. Following the two games, Head Coach Alex Kuchar spoke about his team's performances.
"The victory against Central Penn was the result of an excellent team effort by our student-athletes," Kuchar said. "We made terrific adjustments in the second half, and we were very efficient at limiting their scoring opportunities in the final 20 minutes. Ebony and Ayana did an outstanding job of pacing us in the third quarter, and once we got to the fourth quarter, everything came together – and then Ashley hits the game-winner in the final seconds. As for our loss to Davis, we wanted to use the game as a litmus test to see where we were as a group. Unfortunately, we weren't able to pick up a victory, but we'll regroup, work hard against Vaughn this Wednesday, and then hopefully we'll take positive momentum into the tournament next weekend."
In Berkeley's thrilling come-from-behind victory over Central Penn, Ashley Duplan scored 17 points – and her three-point basket with four seconds remaining in regulation proved to be the difference in the game. Additionally, Ayana Ratliff scored 35 points, and veteran Ebony Lofton netted 10.
A day later – in the Knights' 11-point defeat to the Falcons – Duplan carried the momentum of her clutch basket over, as she drilled nine three-point baskets – a career-high – while scoring a game-high 27 points. She also added six rebounds on the day, as well. Ratliff struggled with her shot in this one, nailing just six of her 24 attempts to finish with 17 points. She did dominate on the defensive side, however, recording a game-high eight steals. Crystal Miller chipped in with 11 points, three steals, and three rebounds, and Ebony Lofton collected six rebounds.
In a winning effort for the Falcons, veteran Jamie Brown converted on four three-point baskets – and seven of her eight attempts at the charity stripe – to finish with 25 points. She also recorded a game-high seven assists while grabbing three rebounds. Brooke Lewandowski scored 16 points while snatching nine rebounds and recorded a team-high four steals, and Kim Fassett grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.
Berkeley College stayed within striking distance of Davis in the loss, trailing by just five points heading into the fourth quarter before the Falcons put together their strong offensive quarter of the contest in the fourth with 20 points. The significant difference in rebounds served as perhaps the primary reason the Knights lost this game, as the Falcons held a commanding 44-23 edge on the glass, including a gap of 16-4 in the offensive rebounding category.
The teams attempted a whopping 58 three-point shots combined, with both connecting on 11 apiece. Berkeley shot 11-30 from downtown (36.7 percent), while the Falcons hit on 11 of their 28 attempts from long range (39.3 percent). Davis College shot 39.4 percent overall for the afternoon (26-66), compared to 35 percent for the Knights (21-60). The Falcons held a 19-11 advantage in the assists column, and Berkeley College won the turnover battle, committing just 13 miscues compared to 20 for the opposition.
Berkeley College's loss to Davis means the Knights are now locked into the No. 3 seed in the upcoming Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament. The Knights' opponent will be the No. 2 seed – the College of New Rochelle Blue Angels. That semifinal round tussle will take place this Saturday at 3:00pm. Should Berkeley win that game against New Rochelle, the Knights would play in the title game on February 18 at 1:00pm.
Before getting their chance to win the program's first-ever HVIAC crown, the Knights will have one more regular season game to play – and that will be against HVIAC foe Vaughn College. The Knights and Warriors will play in a late Valentine's Day matchup at the Hill Center on the campus of St. Joseph's College of Brooklyn. Start-time is scheduled for 9:00pm.