By Steven Merritt
NEWBURGH – The Mount Saint Mary College Women’s Basketball team cruised to its fifth straight victory on Saturday afternoon as the Knights defeated Purchase 79-34 at the Kaplan Center. Sophomore Annie Keenan and junior Morina Bojka each scored 14 points to lead a balanced scoring attack for the Mount.
The Knights scored the first 16 points of the contest as Bojka and senior Lyndsay Pace combined for 14 of the 16 points for the Mount. Following a Purchase bucket to make it 17-4, junior Gabriella Rafaniello and sophomore Cameron Villanueva knocked down back to back three-pointers.
After closing the first quarter with a 21 point lead, Mount Saint Mary scored the first eight points of the second quarter on five points from Keenan. A three-pointer from freshman Katelyn McCann with 3:52 remaining in the second quarter gave the Knights its largest lead of the half at 41-11.
Mount Saint Mary shot 43.2 percent in the first half and knocked down seven three-pointers while Purchase shot just 20.0 percent and made just one three-pointer. Keenan led the way with 10 points and five boards, Bojka added nine points and Pace added seven points and five steals. Shadai Plowden scored nine points in the first half for the Panthers.
The Knights started strong once again in the third period as they began the quarter on a 14-4 run. Purchase scored back to back buckets from Amber Rodriquez and Plowden. Mount Saint Mary then concluded the quarter on an 8-2 run with a lay-in from Kylie Sisto and a three from Julia Lavin.
The Mount reeled off a 9-2 run on a McCann triple and four points from Lavin, along with two free throws from Sisto. 11 different players tallied a point for the Knights as the Mount assisted on 23 of its 31 field goals on the day.
Mount Saint Mary shot a blistering 51.7 percent in the second half and made four triples while the Panthers was limited to 27.3 percent and made just one three-point field goal. Lavin finished the second half with nine points while Villanueva added two points, three rebounds and three assists in the half.
Keenan and Bojka each scored 14 points on 6 for 8 shooting while Keenan added four assists and seven rebounds. Pace finished with seven points, five steals and three assists with Desrats chipped in six points, four assists and three rebounds. Lavin added nine points off the bench and Villanueva scored five points, dished out four helpers and grabbed three rebounds. Toriana Tabasco added five points, two assists and seven rebounds while Sisto chipped in seven points and four rebounds.
Plowden scored 15 points and seven rebounds for the Panthers and Alfa DeJesus grabbed eight rebounds and handed out two assists.
Purchase was limited to just 24.1 percent from the field and just two three-pointers while the Knights shot 47 percent from the field and shot 11 for 24 from the three-point line.
Mount Saint Mary converted 30 points off turnovers and outscored the Panthers 36-22 in the paint.
Saturday’s win over Purchase pushes the Mount to 6-1 overall and 5-0 in the Skyline Conference.