Women’s Hoops Hoping Momentum Carries Over
February 24, 2012
The members of the defending North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) champion Keuka College women’s basketball team pulled off a monumental comeback during Tuesday night’s home quarterfinal contest against SUNY Cobleskill, and the team is hoping that momentum carries over into Saturday’s NEAC semifinal.
The Storm (17-5), the No. 2 seed in the NEAC North Division, faces Penn State-Harrisburg (19-6), the top seed from the South, in one semifinal at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon at SUNYIT in Utica, NY. Lancaster Bible College (15-11), the No. 3 team in the South, squares off with SUNYIT, the top team from the North, at 4 p.m. in the other semifinal.
The championship game is 2 p.m. Sunday back at SUNYIT.
Facing Cobleskill, Keuka fell behind 37-21 early in the second half, and the situation looked bleak as the Storm saw only two players score during the game’s first 22 minutes: sophomore Danielle Gravel (Sidney, NY/Sidney), a first-team All-NEAC guard, scored 20 of Keuka’s first 21 points while classmate Casey Chamberlain (Perry, NY/Perry) made a free throw.
That was the extent of the scoring for the Storm, who despite trailing at home never gave up and used a 9-0 run to spark a big comeback as Keuka held off Cobleskill 50-48 behind 25 points, 4 steals and 3 rebounds from Gravel and 10 points and five boards from Chamberlain.
Trailing 48-47 and with the season on the line, sophomore Jessica Bandrowski (Center Moriches, NY/Center Moriches) drove the lane late hoping to put the defending NEAC champions from Keuka up for good.
Instead of shooting, Bandrowski delivered an accurate pass to Chamberlain, who made the layup with 3.2 seconds left and converted the ensuing free throw for a three-point play and a 50-48 lead. Bandrowski then stole the inbounds pass to clinch the win, Keuka’s seventh straight and ninth in its last 10 games.
“That win over Cobleskill, we could have given up, and we have during the season, but we fought back and that kind of win can be a huge boost for us,” going forward, said Chamberlain.
“We’ve been playing more like a team every day and we’re pretty excited to be moving on in the tournament.”
Keuka had better be prepared for the Nittany Lions, who handed the Storm a 69-35 loss on Jan. 15. Interim head coach Katie Marcella said the Storm is a different team than the squad that fell by 34 points to the first-place Nittany Lions, who except for a loss to SUNYIT went undefeated in NEAC play.
“We definitely have the potential to win it all and we’ve definitely gotten better since then, we’re on a nice winning streak and we’re definitely playing more like a team,” Marcella said. “We didn’t come into that first game [with Harrisburg] mentally prepared, I don’t know why, but it was a learning experience for us. We have to come in with the mindset that we can beat them; it doesn’t matter if we lost to them before, they are beatable and if we come ready to play we should hopefully come out on top.”
Harrisburg features four players who score in double-figures: Daril Foose (12.8 ppg.), Monet Cunningham (12.6 ppg.), Stephanie Yetter (12.3 ppg.) and Amanda Moyer (10.7 pp.g).
Harrisburg is averaging 67.3 ppg. while allowing only 54.2 ppg. Keuka is averaging 63.8 ppg. while allowing only 54.6 ppg.
Fans who cannot make the trek to Utica can still follow the Storm’s semifinal contest by checking out the Live Stats feature. Visit www.KeukaStorm.com/live-stats to track the Storm’s quest for another NEAC championship.
For the latest stories, schedules and results from Keuka athletics, visit www.KeukaStorm.com or go to the Keuka Athletics Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/KeukaStorm.