By Steven Merritt
NEWBURGH – The top-seeded Mount Saint Mary College Women’s Basketball team fell short in the Skyline Conference Championship Semifinal on Thursday night, losing 72-57 against fourth-seeded St. Joseph’s-Brooklyn. Junior Morina Bojka tallied a team-high 21 points for the Knights.
The Mount scored the first five points of the contest as Annie Keenan drilled a three-pointer and Bojka hit a free throw line jumper in the early going. The Bears tied the game back up at seven on a Kelly O’Donnell lay-in with 4:43 left in the first quarter.
St. Joseph’s-Brooklyn capped a 11-2 run on an Emma Kiley bucket with 2:25 left in the quarter to take a 13-7 lead. Mount Saint Mary got it back to within one at 15-14 on a Bojka jumper before Jamie Provino drilled back-to-back threes to take a 21-14 lead after one quarter.
Bojka scored the first seven points to begin the second quarter as the Mount brought the game back to a tie at 21 all. Both teams struggled to shoot the ball in the quarter as neither team jumped out to more than a two-point advantage. The Knights took a one point lead into the half on a Toriana Tabasco three-pointer before the buzzer.
Bojka tallied 16 points in the first half while Keenan added seven points and seven rebounds for the Knights. The Mount shot 30.6-percent from the field and was 4-for-13 from three. O’Donnell and Provino combined for 21 of the 27 St. Joseph’s-Brooklyn points in the half as the Bears shot 35.5-percent overall and 3-for-11 from three-point range.
After the Bears regained the lead and pushed it to five on a Provino triple, the Mount countered with an 8-0 run at the 7:02 mark to gain a three-point lead. The third quarter continued to go back and forth as neither team could push their own lead to more than four points. St. Joseph’s-Brooklyn took a 50-47 lead into the final quarter.
After Mount Saint Mary cut the lead back to three points on a Bojka three with 5:03 remaining in the game, the Bears finished the contest on a 16-4 run to take a 15-point victory and advance to the Skyline Conference Championship Final against the United States Merchant Marine Academy.
Keenan tallied 10 points in the second half as the Knights shot just 25.7-percent and were 5-for-19 from three-point range. O’Donnell added 15 points for the Bears as they shot an even 50-percent from the field and were 6-for-13 from three and 15-for-20 from the free throw line.
Bojka finished with 21 points on 9-for-19 shooting and added five rebounds. Keenan tallied a strong double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. The Knights shot 28.2-percent on the game and 9-for-32 from deep.
O’Donnell scored a game-high 27 points and chipped in eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Provino added 12 points while Lauren Quesada chipped in 10 points, eight rebounds and four steals. Deserae Sequeira finished with nine assists and nine rebounds for the Bears.
Mount Saint Mary held the edge in points off turnovers at 25-12 and second chance points at 12-5. St. Joseph’s-Brooklyn outscored the Knights in points in the paint at 28-20 and fast break points at 20-6.
Thursday’s loss concludes the Mount’s season at 20-6 overall.