Mount Saint Mary 75
Farmingdale State 60
(Newburgh, NY) Story by Brian Granata, MSMC SID – Top-seeded Mount Saint Mary College pulled away from No. 2 seed Farmingdale State University down the stretch en route to posting a 75-60 victory in the Skyline Conference Tournament championship game at the Kaplan Center in Newburgh. The 25th-ranked Blue Knights (27-1) have now won six straight Skyline titles and will head to the NCAA Division III Championships for the sixth year in a row.
Senior Oneisha Staples (Newburgh, NY) led all scorers with 28 points on 10-for-18 shooting from the floor. Sophomore LaSheena Brown (Rockville Centre, NY) tallied 12 points and nine rebounds. Senior Nneka Cruse (Highland Falls, NY) posted a double-double (10 points, 12 rebounds). Sophomore Annie Cossolini (Fanwood, NJ) hit three critical three-pointers and finished with nine points and nine rebounds.
For Farmingdale (22-5), senior Sharon Billips (Brooklyn, NY) had a team-high 22 points and 16 rebounds. Freshman I’shawna West (Hempstead, NY) added 14 points on 4-for-7 shooting from downtown.
Mount Saint Mary, which never trailed in the game, shook off a slow start to open a 13-point lead late in the first half when junior Kellie Stuart (Massapequa Park, NY) drained consecutive three-pointers. The Rams responded with five straight points to trim the deficit to 34-26 at the break.
The Blue Knights were once again unable to pull away from FSU early in the second half as the Rams cut the Mount’s lead to 44-40 with 13:01 remaining on a three-pointer by Kristen Tong (Swanzey, NH). MSMC responded with nine straight points in the span of 1:27 courtesy of two three-pointers by Cossolini and one by Staples as the Blue Knights stretched the lead to 53-40 with 11:34 to go. After Farmingdale moved to within 55-51 with 7:42 left in the game, Mount Saint Mary went on an 8-1 run to open a 63-53 lead with just over five minutes to play.
Mount Saint Mary has now won 63 straight Skyline games (including playoffs) since the women’s league began in 1999-00. The Blue Knights, which are ranked No. 1 in the Atlantic Region, have won a school-best 21 straight games this season and will find out their NCAA future during a telephone press conference on Sunday at 10:00 p.m.