Waltham, Mass. – All five starters for the NYIT women's basketball team reached double-digit points Friday afternoon in the NCAA Division II East Region Quarterfinal, hosted by top-seeded Bentley University. The Bears, who went into the contest as the No. 6 seed, topped the No. 3 Philadelphia Rams 88-74 to earn the program's first NCAA championship win and advance to the semifinal. The Rams finish their season at 25-7 as NYIT posts a 25-8 overall record.
Allen drained a three-pointer in the opening thirty seconds of play to get the Bears on the board of the quarterfinal contest. A five-point run, capped with a free throw from Allen gave NYIT the six-point advantage, but the Rams came back with 11 unanswered points to regain the lead. Allen registered a steal resulting in a fast break layup that brought the team within one of the third seed en route to the upper hand at the conclusion of the first, as Duer accounted for a tre at the 28 second mark.
The Bears once again found themselves out to a six-point margin with contributions from Kate Brock and Ragab at the 7:47 mark. NYIT shot 66.7 percent from three-point range in the second frame alone en route to a 41-36 lead as the teams broke for the locker room. Brock came off the bench in this quarter to score five of her seven points.
In the third quarter, NYIT never allowed their lead drop below four, with their largest advantage coming at the 1:54 mark as Allen made a free throw to make it 62-53. Neither team scored in the final frame until Williams knocked down back-to-back free throws about a minute in, making the Rams deficit reached double-figures. The teams experienced another scoring drought over the next two minutes until leading scorer for Philadelphia Bria Young made a layup.
A 12-2 run for the Blue and Gold filled the middle of the final quarter, giving them a a 16-point cushion as the teams headed for the final few minutes in the contest. Philadelphia committed seven turnovers in the last quarter in which NYIT capitalized, scoring 10 of their 21 points.
The team advances, for the first time in school history to the second round of the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball championship, where they will face second-seeded American International, a 61-59 winner over Bloomfield, Saturday, March at 5:00 p.m.