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Two Heartbreakers

Christian Arnold

The C.W. Post Pioneers women’s basketball team lost two straight games this past week, putting them in the middle of a three-game losing streak. The Pioneers lost 76-74 in overtime to the NYIT Bears on Tuesday, December 6th, followed by a 65-62 loss to the Pace University Setters on Friday, December 9th.

The two losses have pushed the Pioneers’ record to 5-4 overall and 0-2 in conference play.

In the loss to the NYIT Bears, the Pioneers shot 43.7 percent (31-71) from field goal range and 26.7 percent (4-15) from three-point range. Junior forward Nicolette Marciniak and senior guard Felicia Joyner both led the team with 20 points. Joyner added four assists and three steals.

A late 9-2 run in the second half by the Bears tied the game at 62. The tying shot came off a free throw made by NYIT’s Cierra Baker. She led the Bears with 26 points, while contributing 14 rebounds, six assists and five steals.

The Pioneers regained the lead and with 14 seconds left in the game; Marciniak made one of two free throws to put her team ahead by two points. With six seconds left, junior center Samantha Kopp was charged with a foul, sending Baker to the free throw line. Baker made both shots and sent the game to overtime.

Overtime was a close matchup with both teams trading the lead. The Bears’ junior guard Rebecca Lynch put the dagger in the Pioneers with a shot made late in overtime, putting the Bears ahead by four points with only a couple seconds left in the game.  The Bears won with a score of 76-74.

Friday brought another tough loss for the Pioneers, this time against the Pace University Setters.  The Pioneers fell behind early, trailing 6-0 two minutes into the game. The Setters maintained their lead, and, at one point, were leading by 11 points. The Pioneers went on an 11-0 run and cut it to a 27-25 lead with 5:43 left in the half.  That was the closest the Pioneers came in the first half to tying the game. They ended the half trailing 41-36.

The Pioneers chipped away at the lead and eventually tied the game early in the second half. Marciniak gave the Pioneers their first lead of the game with 12:56 left. The Setters’ Carol Johnson tied the game at 49 with a layup. The Pioneers regained their lead, taking a 56-50 lead with 4:35 left in the game.

Pace University managed to claw back and recapture the lead. Joyner hit two free throws to cut that lead to a 61-60 Setters advantage. Setters’ junior guard Allison Cleary hit a jump shot to give her team a three-point cushion. Joyner made a layup on the next Pioneers’ possession to make it a one-point game once more. Pioneers’ sophomore guard Kenyatta Sears was forced to foul senior forward Javadifar Maral with two seconds left in the game. Maral hit both free throws to make it 65-62 and secure the win for the Setters.

Joyner led the Pioneers with 21 points in the game. Lutz was behind her, contributing 18 points of her own.

The next game for the Pioneers is on Friday, December 16th, at 6 p.m. against Saint Thomas of Aquinas.

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