By Michael Otero
Coming off of an impressive 29 point victory against Daemen College, the Lady Pioneers (14-5) looked to continue their solid play against the Redhawks of Roberts Wesleyan in their Sun. matinee on Feb. 2.
Early on in the first half, the game was there for the taking as neither team could gain much positive momentum. The back and forth battle continued for roughly 10 minutes as neither team could take control. With the score holding at 17-13 in favor of the Pioneers, junior guard Chelsea Williams converted on a layup. That basket started what became a 22-8 run. During that run, senior forward Shayna Gatling scored five points while Williams and junior guard Ariana Ijaduola both scored four points.
The exclamation point to the Pioneers great first half play was a last second basket by Williams which gave the Pioneers an 11 point lead heading into halftime. For the Redhawks, it was junior forward Chelsea Sanders, who was trying to keep them in the game with 12 points and junior guard Jenna Johnson who had eight points. The first half featured a strong effort down low from the Pioneers as they outscored their op- ponent 32-12 in the paint. The effort also showed on the defensive end as they forced 11 turnovers and converted them in 14 points.
In the second half, it was more of the same from the Pioneers as they continued their stellar play. The second half push was led by sopho- more guard Quanisha Ratley and senior guard Alexis Peters, who each poured in double digit figures. With 13:35 remaining in regulation, the green and gold’s lead reached its peak as Ratley nailed a three pointer, giving the Pioneers a 60-42 advantage.
The game seemed pretty much in hand, until a late run by the Redhawks, who cut the deficit from 18 to six. Free throws iced the game and a layup by Peters sealed the deal, giving the Pioneers the nine point victory 78-69.
For the Pioneers, the scoring was well distributed as they had five players score in double figures. The Pioneers led the Redhawks in the hustle stats as well, outscoring them by five in second chance points, 14 in fast break points, and 14 in points off turnovers.
Coach Moore and the Lady Pioneers return to the hardwood on Thurs. Feb. 6 when they host the University of the District of Columbia in an ECC battle. Tipoff is slated for 5 p.m. from Pratt Recreation Center in Brookville, NY.