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Women’s Basketball Loses to Caldwell, Beats Holy Family in Season Opener

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Syracuse, N.Y. — The Le Moyne Dolphins suffered an 84-65 loss to the Caldwell College Cougars at Ted Grant Court on Friday, Nov. 11 in what was a hard-fought ball game for both teams. Senior Ailayia Demand led the way for the ‘Phins in the loss with 23 points, as freshman McKayla Roberts flirted with a triple-double, recording 16 points along with nine assists and seven boards. Junior Joanna Dobrovsky recorded her first career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.

The Dolphins would strike first in the contest, leading by five points early in the first quarter. Not to be outdone, the Cougars fought back to take the lead midway through the first quarter, 13-9. A McKayla Roberts’ old-fashioned three-point play changed the tide of the quarter, putting the Dolphins within one at 13-12. The Cougars, led by an offensive duo in junior Kristen Droglser and senior Antoinette Pilla, who would combine for ten three-pointers in the game, gave themselves a 24-14 lead at the end of the first.

Caldwell started the second quarter hot, taking control with a barrage of shots from beyond the arc, giving the Cougars a commanding lead of 31-16. Le Moyne’s offense kicked into gear as Colleen Corcoran, aided by Demand, Dobrovsky and Roberts, sparked a 9-0 run for the Dolphins with just under three minutes to play in the half. Le Moyne went to the locker room down 45-39.

In the highly-contested third quarter, Le Moyne countered with buckets from the Cougars, getting within one point with 6:10 left to play in the third. A technical foul on the Cougars’ bench later in the quarter sent McKayla Roberts to the line. Roberts sunk both of her attempts from the charity stripe to lower the deficit to 55-53 with 3:03 left to play in the third. The ‘Phins entered the final period of play down 62-56. The fourth quarter saw Caldwell take over, scoring 22 points in the quarter and leading by as many as 16 points. Despite the 84-75 loss, the Dolphins still had one more game left the following day.

Against the Holy Family Tigers, the Dolphins cruised to a 73-62 victory.  As a team, the ‘Phins increased their three-point percentage by 11% from the night before, shooting 40% in the win. Junior forward Nicole Riddick led the way for Le Moyne, scoring 20 points to go along with eight rebounds. Freshman point guard McKayla Roberts scored 18 points in her second career game for the Dolphins. Junior center Joanna Dobrovsky led the defensive effort, recording 4 blocks on the night.

Over the first 13:00 minutes, the Dolphins and Tigers exchanged the lead in a tightly-contested first quarter. Le Moyne finally reclaimed the lead with 6:40 left in the half from a pair of McKayla Roberts free throws to make it a 22-20 game. Nicole Riddick hit the third of her four long-balls in the game with six minutes remaining in the quarter to push the lead to five. Le Moyne’s Roberts excited the crowd of 299 in attendance by going coast-to-coast, dribbling behind her back, and schooling a defender with a fake pass before kissing the ball off the glass and into the bucket for two. The Dolphins led at the break, 34-25.

Le Moyne pushed the lead to 38-25 to start the second half. Roberts and teammate Liz Millea went to the bench due to foul trouble half way through the third. This allowed the Tigers to cut the Dolphin lead to 42-35 with 3:47 left in the third. The Dolphins put together an 8-0 run, beginning with a Colleen Corcoran three-ball at the 3:20 mark. An Ailayia Demand layup off of a pass from Corcoran put the ladies up, 50-35. The Tigers eventually cut the lead at the end of the third to 52-42.

Holy Family struck first, cutting the lead to 52-45 with a three of their own. McKayla Roberts, coming back into the game for the first time since departing for the bench halfway through the third due to foul trouble, hit a two-point bucket to stop the bleeding for the Dolphins. Roberts’ bucket would spark a 7-0 run for the Le Moyne women. They put the game out of reach with four minutes remaining in the contest by pushing the lead to 69-51. From there, the Dolphins cruised to an easy 73-62 point victory.

The Dolphins (1-1) open up their Northeast-10 schedule with a game against the University of New Haven, in New Haven, Ct. on Nov. 16. The women’s next home game will be Saturday, Nov. 19 vs. Pace with tip-off scheduled at noon.

(Note: this story was written before Wednesday’s conference opener)

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Women’s Basketball Loses to Caldwell, Beats Holy Family in Season Opener