Mount Saint Mary College Women Advance to NCAA Tourney for Sixth Straight Season
Feb 26, 2005

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.