By Jada Butler and Nicholas Mattina
News Editor & Staff Writer
The LIU Post women’s basketball team went head-to-head with boulevard rivals from NYIT in game three of the ECC on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at the Pratt Recreation Center in Brookville.
Back on home turf, the Pioneers clutched a four-point lead against the NYIT Bears, ending the game 73-69. The Pioneers are now 3-0 in the conference.
To start the game, Sasha Patterson, senior forward who was named ECC player of the week from game two of the conference, scored eight of the host’s first 11 points to gain an 11-3 lead in the first quarter.
Heading into the second, the Bears outscored the Pioneers to even the score, 23-23. But the Pioneers reclaimed a six-point lead at 30-24 in the next frame, only for the Bears to come back and take a 46-40 lead going into the half.
Kylie Garrett, Post’s senior guard, who was down for most of the fourth quarter, scored two free throws with 3:38 remaining. Patterson scored the final six points of the game.
This win comes after the Pioneers gained a 77-59 win against Mercy College on Saturday, Dec. 9, when Patterson was named ECC player of the week.
In that game, Patterson scored 33 points, a career high, and tallied 15 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season.
“My team was giving me the ball. When you have the ball, the pressure is on you and you have to score. I’m not going to let my team down,” she said.
Patterson, a senior, shows strong leadership. “[My responsibilities] are just knowing that my teammates can check me at any time and making sure I’m doing everything that I can do to help this team, because this team is more important than myself,” she said. “If scoring a lot of points will help us win, than I’m all for it.”
Patterson played strong in the conference two game. “It feels good to know that I’m getting recognition; I felt like last season I really didn’t put my all into it and leave it all on the court. So senior year I’m just trying to leave it all on the court.”
Patterson aims to inspire and motivate her teammates.
“I will work hard and lead by example. If I’m working hard to get the goal of making playoffs, and that’s just a very low goal, we really want to make it to the tournament and be really far. We are just taking it one game at a time, doing what we have to do,” she said.
The Pioneers began the season with a slow start, but have regained their stride in the last three ECC games.
“We got a rhythm now, so we want to keep with the rhythm, keep going and keep enforcing,” Patterson said. “[We’re] not giving teams the opportunity to come back; we want to make teams know that this season, they’re not here to play with us.”
The LIU Post women’s basketball team has welcomed two new freshmen this season, Patrice Harding and Natalie Hickman.
In her last year, Patterson gives them some advice.
“If one of us wins, we all win. If one of us gets recognition, we all get recognition,” she said. “Hard work pays off. Being that [they] are freshmen, [they] are learning from some of the best and they can continue to bring on the legacy.”
The Pioneers host non-conference rival, Bentley, on Sunday, Dec. 17 in the Pratt Center. Game starts at 1:30 p.m.