By Michael Otero
The Lady Pioneers (17-5) started their three game road trip on Wed. Feb. 12 when they traveled to Connecticut to take on the University of Bridgeport Purple Knights (6-17). The Pioneers shined and made it four straight victories for them, winning at a clip of 83-72.
The scoring for the Pioneers was jump started by senior guard Alexis Peters, who nailed a three pointer. That shot was a precursor for the first half and the rest of the game, as Peters finished an assist shy of a triple-double. The first half was a tight contest, as neither team led by more than four points. The score was knotted up at 38 at the break.
At the half, junior guard Chelsea Williams and senior guard Kiki Sears each had 10 points, and Peters was stuffing the stat sheet as well with nine points, five rebounds, and four assists. For the Purple Knights, junior guards Tiara Ariz and Jenna Hoffman were the high scorers with 10 each.
After a quick 6-0 run to start the second half by the hosts, it was Sears who stepped up and nailed two three pointers to tie the game. After a Peters’ three, she buried another one from deep giving the Pioneers a six-point lead. Their lead was pushed to nine with free throws from Williams. Looking to respond, the Purple Knights went on an 8-0 run and later on, took the lead with under eight minutes remaining. The Pioneers answered that run with a 9-1 run of their own and never looked back as they earned the win.
Sears finished with 24 points, while Williams poured in 22 and added seven rebounds. Peters had an all-around game with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. In the second half, the Pioneers stepped up big time as they outscored their opponents by 11 and held them to 33 percent from the field.
In their second matchup of the week on Friday, Feb. 15, the Lady Pioneers continued their stellar play when they took the court against the Dowling College Golden Lions (9-12) and won by a score of 61-51.
The Golden Lions opened the scoring and led 2-0, but a 12-0 run by the Pioneers stopped
the possibility of any momentum in favor of the Golden Lions. Williams scored seven points during the run. With a slim four point lead and halftime approaching, the Pioneers went on a solid run again, this time a 10-3 run that was capped off by a layup from senior forward Shayna Gatling with three seconds in the first half. The green and gold took a 32-21 lead going into the break.
The defense was pivotal in the first half, as the Golden Lions were held to fewer than 22 percent shooting and to only 21 points. The Pioneers were also forcing the action on defense as they caused nine turnovers.
In the second half, the Golden Lions came out strong, putting a 10-1 spurt together and later on in the half, cut the deficit to just two points at 38-36. The Pioneers responded to the strong showing by the Golden Lions with nine straight points to go up 11 points.
The lead was pushed to its limit of 12 when Peters nailed two free throws later in the half. Williams put the game on ice with under a minute remaining as she nailed four free throws, and the Pioneers cruised to a 10-point victory.
For the Pioneers, Williams had 26 points, eight rebounds, and chipped in on the defensive end with two steals, while Gatling snatched 13 boards and finished with nine points. For the Golden Lions, sophomore guard Krstina Surlan was the high scorer with 14.
Coach Moore and the Lady Pioneers hit the hardwood again on Wednesday, Feb. 19 when they travel to play the Mavericks of Mercy College. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.