Women's Basketball Win in Stunning Fashion.
By Nick Crispino
The definition of perfection is a quality, trait, or feature of the highest degree of excellence. The Molloy women's basketball team could only be described as perfection in the last ten minutes of a game that was seemingly one-sided at the start. With little over ten minutes to go in the match, the Lions went on a 25-4 run, beating University of D.C. 70-59 in a come from behind thriller on Feb. 22, at the Quealy Gymnasium in Rockville Centre N.Y. The big win brings the Lions to a record of 13-11 overall and fifth in the East Coast Conference with a record of 10-7.
The Firebirds fell to 18-6 overall and 14-4 in the conference. "Best win of the season, we talked about never giving it up and doing it for each other," said first year Head Coach Kate Lynch. "D.C. is really good and I think we have to throw out the kitchen sink at a team like D.C." The night couldn't have been any sweeter for the Lions and especially for senior guard Kelly Guerriero, who celebrated Senior Night with a great performance. Guerriero, being the lone senior on the team, had dominated the game.
"Miss Clutch" scored a game-high 22 points, including 6 three-pointers, and securing 7 rebounds while playing a total of 40 minutes. "I was so emotional, but my teammates are everything to me," said Guerriero. "They pulled me together and told me let's get this win." The most valuable player of the game, Guerriero, also earned Women Play Ball's NCAA Division II Athlete of the Week and became the new single-season three-pointer record holder in the ECC with 81 three-pointers. Sophomore guard Alexia O'Connor spoke about the comradely the team had with Guerriero, "We knew we were going to win, we wanted to do it for Kelly." The Lions were trailing the Firebirds for most of the game as they were outscored 38-29 at halftime.
Molloy didn't have a answer for D.C.'s shooting in the first halve, letting them go on to shoot 54.5% at the three-point line and producing a 43.8 field goal percentage to the Lions 37.5 field goal percentage. The Lions didn't pull ahead until junior forward Nicole Arnone completed a three-point play after being fouled and making the lay-up. The successful free-throw by Arnone brought the score to 57-55 with five minutes left to play. Guerriero helped give the Lions a 63-58 lead after hitting back-to-back three pointers and taking a bite out of the Firebird's confidence by the two-minute mark.
"Best shooter I ever seen in my life," said Coach Lynch. "I've coached a few different places and she's the best player I've ever seen shooting wise, she wanted it tonight." Molloy's great ball movement, intense defense and clutch shooting down the stretch sent a message through the conference. The Lions held the Firebirds to a outstanding 18.8 shooting percentage in the second halve, capping off a great win. Junior Forward Megan Lonergan scored 14 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks, while Arnone finished with a game-high 10 rebounds.
Sophomore forward Ally Leftridge came off the bench and supplied much needed scoring, collecting 11 points on the night. Guard Sabrina Padro facilitated the ball movement dishing out a team high 4 assists and constantly helping collapse the interior of the defense. The Lions begin a three-game road trip, closing out in Old Westbury, against New York Institute of Technology on March 1 and look to make a push into the east Coast Conference Championship.