MAHWAH, NJ --- (www.OLDWESTBURYPANTHERS.com) SUNY Old Westbury women's basketball captured a convincing 87-78 season-opening victory Friday evening over the Saint Elizabeth Eagles at the Ramapo Tip-Off Tournament in Mahwah, New Jersey. With the win, Old Westbury advances to Saturday's championship game versus Penn State Harrisburg at 2 p.m. from Bradley Center.
After finding themselves down 13-4, Crystal Barnes sank a jumper at the 5:16 mark to spark a 21-5 run to close out the opening stanza for Old Westbury. Jasmine Robinson scored two of her eight first-quarter points to give Old Westbury its first lead of the game, 17-16, with 2:55 remaining.
Raven Pentz fired a jumper to open the second-quarter scoring to push Old Westbury's lead to eight (27-19). Moments later, Tori Bellings connected on a jumper to maintain the Panthers' eight-point lead (29-21) with 8:03 showing on the second-quarter clock. Monique Joseph dropped in a layup with 5:17 remaining to kick start at 13-2 run over the next 3:33 to put the Panthers ahead 42-28. Old Westbury took a 42-35 lead into intermission.
Old Westbury took its largest lead of the game with four minutes remaining in the third quarter when Bridgid McNeill dropped in a layup to give the Panthers a 15-point cushion (59-44).
After outscoring Saint Elizabeth in each of the opening three quarters, the Eagles won the fourth by the score of 24-21. Old Westbury's lead was trimmed to seven points when Ashley Pledge converted a pair of free throws with one minute remaining to make it 82-75.
Barnes led all players with 21 points (tied career-high), 14 rebounds and four blocks to register her 11th career double-double. She also nabbed a career-best four steals. Robinson followed with 18 points (8-17 FG), nine steals (tied career-high), three assists and one block. Pentz dished out a game-high eight assists to go along with 12 points and two steals. Kendra Jordan added 10 points (4-6 FG) and two steals whileMonique Joseph ripped down 10 boards off the bench. Tori Bellings came off the bench to contribute nine points and six rebounds.
Pledger's 18 points paced Saint Elizabeth while Deja Ingram chipped in with 16 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks.
In the end, Old Westbury connected on 40.2 percent from the field (35-87), 10 percent from three-point range (1-10) and 59.3 percent from the free-throw line (16-27) compared to Saint Elizabeth's 34.7 percent from the floor (26-76), 31.6 percent from beyond the arc (6-19) and 54.1 percent from the charity stripe (20-37). Both teams grabbed 57 boards as Saint Elizabeth converted its 28 offensive rebounds into 30 second-chance points. Old Westbury scored 35 points off 25 Eagle turnovers. The Panthers also owned a 46-28 scoring advantage inside the paint.
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