Rams Defeat NYU-Poly; Advance to Skyline Championship
#3 Farmingdale State - 61, #2 NYU-Poly - 58
Brooklyn, N.Y. - The Farmingdale State women's basketball team advanced to the Skyline Conference Championship game with a 61-58 win over #2 NYU-Poly (19-6). The Rams (20-7) will travel to Mount Saint Mary College to take on the top-seeded Knights on Saturday, February 26th at 2:00 p.m.
In the first half, Farmingdale State jumped out to an early 12-6 lead, before NYU-Poly went on an 11-3 run capped off with two 3-pointers by freshman guard Tabitha Larsen (Ramsey, N.J./Ramsey). The Rams trailed 20-19 with 3:08 remaining until sophomore guard Nikita Green (Roosevelt, N.Y./Roosevelt) scored the team's final two baskets, giving Farmingdale State a 23-22 halftime advantage. Green finished with a team-best eight first half points.
The Rams extended their lead to 36-28 early in the second half, but a quick 8-0 NYU-Poly spurt evened the game at 36-36. Junior forward Dominique Cunningham (Amityville, N.Y./Copiague) and Larsen traded 3-point baskets on their team's next possessions then Farmingdale's Jalicia Connell (Westbury, N.Y./Hicksville) also connected from long range to put the Rams back ahead 42-39 with 10:34 to play.
Leading 52-50 with 1:44 remaining, junior forward Natasha Smalls (Harlem, N.Y./St. Michael Academy) scored on a jumper to extend Farmingdale's lead to four. After NYU-Poly converted 1-of-2 at the free-throw line, Connell hit her third 3-pointer of the game off Green's pass, giving the Rams a 57-51 edge with 54 seconds left in the game. Farmingdale converted at the free-throw line over the final seconds and clinched a berth in the Skyline Conference Championship game.
Connell led the Rams with a team-best 15 points, while Green added 14. Senior guard Juanita Chappel (Brooklyn, N.Y./Grand Street Campus) scored seven and grabbed 10 boards.
Larsen and junior forward Margaux Pickell (Howell, N.J./Howell) each scored 20 points for NYU-Poly. Senior forward Kristin Leitheuser (Pleasant Valley, N.Y./Arlington) recorded a double-double with 13 points and 16 rebounds.
Last season the Rams captured their first-ever Skyline Championship after defeating Mount Saint Mary in the Finals. The top-seeded Knights enter the Championship game with a 24-2 record.