The LIU Post Pioneers women’s basketball team defeated the NYIT Bears 73-68 on Wednesday, February 1st, and the University of Bridgeport Purple Knights in overtime 77-72 on Saturday, February 4th.
The two wins moved the Pioneers record to 16-7 on the season and 7-4 in ECC play.
During the Pioneers win over NYIT, senior guard Felicia Joyner led the team with 24 points and added two assists. Junior forward Nicolette Marciniak contributed nine points of her own, while grabbing 10 rebounds. The Pioneers shot 41 percent (26-63) from the field but only shot 18 percent (3-16) from three-point range.
The Bears opened the game by scoring seven unanswered points to jump on top early. The Pioneers responded by going on a 10-0 run that featured buckets from sophomore guard Alexis Peters, Marciniak and Joyner. At the end of the first half, the Bears led 34-32.
The Pioneers and Bears traded leads several times in the second half. With 1:21 left in the game, and the Pioneers ahead by two points, Peters fouled Bears’ junior center Chloe Johnson. She hit her two free throws and tied the game at 65. Pioneers freshman guard Chelsea Williams gave the Pioneers the lead back, making a layup in the paint to make it 67-65. A pair of made free throws sealed the win for the Pioneers.
On Saturday, the Pioneers got off to another slow start. They allowed their opponents to start the game on a 6-0 run but answered back by going on an 11-2 run. However, the Purple Knights pulled off a 10-4 run in the final seven minutes of the half to lead 35-24 at halftime.
The second half saw the Pioneers extend their lead to 16, but the Purple Knights began to claw back into the game. Purple Knights’ junior forward Tanisha Carter started an 11-4 run for Bridgeport with 11:43 left in the game. Senior forward Julia Colley hit a jump shot to give the Purple Knights the 54-53 lead with 8:22 left. The two teams traded the lead several times late in the game, until it looked as though Bridgeport had secured a win. Senior guard Edna Marant hit a crucial three-point shot that gave the Purple Knights a 66-64 lead. Colley then made it a three-point game after hitting one of two free throw shots. But, the Pioneers managed to get the ball back in the final seconds, and graduate forward Catherine Lutz hit a game-tying three-pointer to head to overtime right before time expired.
In overtime, the Pioneers and Purple Knights remained neck and neck until LIU Post managed to pull away. Sophomore guard Kenyatta Sears hit a jump shot with 3:11 left to play, and Joyner knocked down a pair of free throws, giving the Pioneers a 73-69 lead. From there, they held the Purple Knights at bay and won the game 77-72.
The Pioneers shot 44 percent (29-65) from the field and 28 percent (6-21) from three-point range. Joyner led the Pioneers in scoring, putting up 25 points. Junior center Samantha Kopp scored nine points, secured seven rebounds and blocked five shots.
The Pioneers’ next game is at home on Wednesday, February 8th, when they host Mercy College at 5 p.m.