Le Moyne College Basketball Shines in ESPN’s National Spotlight

On what was a blustery and snowy final day of January, the Le Moyne College community packed the bleachers surrounding Ted Grant Court to cheer on their men’s and women’s basketball programs whose matchups against Adelphi University were being featured on a national stage. The atmosphere created by the almost 1200 supporters was as infectious as it was electric as they watched both teams take advantage of their opportunity in ESPN’s NCAA Division II Showcase.

As two of the 26 teams selected for this opportunity from “The Worldwide Leader in Sports” the Dolphins were able to show what Division II basketball is really all about, as well as how hard these student-athletes work to hone their craft while getting a college degree. It also afforded the school to showcase what the Le Moyne community has to offer.

The opportunity that Le Moyne had to highlight what it means to be a part of such a close community is something that has far reaching possibilities, according to Le Moyne College’s Assistant Athletic Director, Kevin McNeill.

“Above all, Le Moyne is identified by its community. Across campus and throughout our community, we came together to shine a bright spotlight on the College. It was a fantastic opportunity to introduce ourselves to those who might not be aware of the College and reaffirm to those closest to us what they already know on a national platform.”

As for the games themselves, the Dolphins, or ESPN, couldn’t have hoped for better outcomes as the women’s game kicked off the night with a thriller decided in the final minute and the men’s team finished the night with a defensive showcase.

After watching their double digit lead be cut to only one at 61-60, the Le Moyne College women’s team rallied around one another to tally a 7-0 run in the final 1:04 of the game on their way to a 68-60 victory over Adelphi. The Dolphins saw eight of the nine players who entered the game record at least one point with four of their starters scoring in double figures.

Senior forward Joanna Dobrovosky led Le Moyne’s charge with her first double double of the season racking up 16 points and 11 rebounds. Right behind her was sophomore standout guard McKayla Roberts who scored 11 of her 15 points on the night in the final 11 minutes of the game. Roberts also added three steals to her effort, none bigger than stepping in front of an Adelphi pass with 25 seconds remaining that lead to a Madison Purcell layup pushing the lead to five.

The win by the Dolphins was their fourth in a row and the 10th out of their previous twelve games.

Women’s basketball head coach, Gina Castelli, couldn’t say enough after the game about what the support from all those in attendance meant to the team.

“I think the atmosphere was just wonderful. The amount of people here, and especially at the end of the game when we really needed them to get behind us, they were, and it was just great. I really want to thank everyone who came out and supported us.”

The Le Moyne College men’s game wasn’t as dramatic as the game right before; however, they were able to put the stifling defensive play that has led them to one of the most successful years in program history on full display. The Dolphins used a 25-6 run in the first half to jump out to a quick, comfortable lead; one they would never relinquish as they cruised to a 69-54 victory.

The bench came up big for Le Moyne scoring 34 of the 69 points they had on the game. They were paced by redshirt senior guard Tyquan Rolon who had 13 points, nine in the first half run, as well as three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Senior guard, and three point specialist, Tanner Hyland added 11 points, including three of the Dolphins’ seven three-pointers.

The win clinched a first round bye for Le Moyne in this year’s Northeast-10 Conference tournament, which begins February 23rd. That tallied the Dolphins 8th win in a row and the 30th in their previous 35 conference games.

In order to successfully host and pull off an event with the pressure of a national audience, it takes months of planning down to the very last detail. Le Moyne College’s athletic department did just that, with the fruits of their labor coming in the form of one of the best displays of what the department, and the Le Moyne community in general, has to offer.

Both teams continue to sit in the upper echelon of the Southwest Division of the NE-10 with only a few games remaining on their schedule. Their final home games, which happen to be their final regular season games, will be Tuesday, February 20th starting with the women’s game at 5:00 P.M. For schedules, stats, and much more make sure to head over to lemoynedolphins.com.