By Michael Otero
On Wednesday, Feb. 3, the women’s basketball team took care of business against Mercy College in an East Coast Conference matchup, winning by a score of 67-32. The Pioneers were again led by senior guard Jalyn Brown who scored 15 points en route to the Pioneers second straight win.
The Pioneer defense was fantastic all afternoon, limiting scoring opportunities for Mercy and forcing turnovers. Mercy was held to just 18 points in the first half and halftime provided no answers for the Pioneer defense, as they only scored 14 in the second half. The Pioneer defense forced eight turnovers which directly led to 17 points in the open court. Junior forward Melsha Messam finished with 13 points and six boards while freshman guard Shannon Doyle totaled nine points to go along with six rebounds.
The Pioneers returned home on Saturday, Feb. 6, and played host to St. Thomas Aquinas College. The Pioneers gutted out a gritty 64-62 win to earn their third straight victory.
Senior forward Nyasia Davis was the catalyst early on; scoring key baskets to give the Green and Gold a lead in the first quarter and later on extend their lead to seven points in the second quarter. Davis and the Pioneers took a 29-25 lead into halftime.
The theme of defense carried over from their previous game as the Pioneers were stout all afternoon; especially in the third quarter. After St. Thomas put a few mini runs together to cut the Pioneer lead to just two, the defense stepped up and made stops. Messam extended the Pioneers lead
to nine after hitting a pair of free throws. With the score standing at 47-42 in favor of the Pioneers, sophomore guard Naya Williams converted on a lay-up at the horn to give her squad some momentum heading into the final period of action.
Senior guard Khea Gibbs put the team on her shoulders in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 points and willing the Pioneers to a win. With the Green and Gold up 64-62 and just under ten seconds to play, the Pioneer defense stepped up once again; getting back-to-back stops to secure a win.
Gibbs finished with 15 points while Messam added 13 points and seven boards. Brown totaled nine points and was a perfect four of four from the charity stripe.
Deirdre Moore and her team are back in action on Wednesday, Feb. 10, when they welcome Molloy College to Brookville, N.Y. Opening tip in this ECC showdown is scheduled for 5 p.m.