The Berkeley College women's basketball team picked up a much-needed victory on Wednesday evening, turning back the Sound of Five Towns College by a score of 78-40 in a contest that took place in Dix Hills, NY. With the win, the Knights are now 1-4 on the 2017-2018 campaign, while the Sound dipped to 4-3 on the year. Following the triumph, Head Coach Alex Kuchar gave his thoughts.
"It was very gratifying to get our first victory this evening," Kuchar said. "These student-athletes work so hard, putting in quality practices and giving everything they have during games, so to finally see that diligence pay off with a win is a huge positive for our team. I feel as though the ladies gave a better all-around effort tonight. Ayana was phenomenal tonight. She set the tone for this game in the early stages, and the entire team fed off of her energy and rallied around her. Ebony picked up three fouls in the first quarter, but played solid the rest of the way after that. Crystal and Jaiyamoira were very aggressive the entire game, and that turned out to be a big difference maker for us. Ashley struggled with her shot, but she found ways to impact the game by not turning the ball over, rebounding the basketball, and finding open teammates with her passes. Precious also earned her first collegiate points in tonight's win. It all culminated in a night full of positives for us. We'll have three days off, and then we'll aim to make it two consecutive wins when we play Maine Machias Sunday."
Junior guard Ayana Ratliff was absolutely incredible in this one for Berkeley College, as she connected on 16 of her 23 shot attempts while scoring a game-high 41 points. She also recorded a game-best 11 steals to go along with four rebounds and three assists. Ebony Lofton produced a double-double with 13 points, 14 boards, and two steals, and Crystal Miller contributed 10 points, seven rebounds, a pair of assists, and two steals. Jaiyamoira Myers put forth a solid effort, too, adding eight points, eight rebounds, four assists, and four steals.
Berkeley College never trailed in this contest, though Five Towns College kept things close for a short time. The Knights held a slim six point edge – 29-23 – midway through the second quarter, but Berkeley would finish the period strong, going on a 13-3 run over the final 4:51 of the session to take a commanding 42-26 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
The momentum of the Knights' impressive run at the end of the first half carried into the second stanza for Berkeley, as the Knights outscored the Sound 23-7 in the third quarter, and 13-7 in the final period to account for the 38-point victory.
Despite the loss for Five Towns College, it was Chloe Walton leading the way for the Sound, as she scored a team-high 12 points to go along with five rebounds. Denisha Allen posted a double-double with 11 points, 13 rebounds, and a game-high four blocks, and Destiny Martinez contributed 11 points and seven rebounds, but turned the ball over a whopping 17 times.
The Knights shot 41 percent from the floor for the night (32-78), while holding Five Towns College to just 15 converted field goals for the evening (15-66, 22.7 percent). Berkeley recorded 13 assists to seven for the Sound, and the Knights dominated in the points-off-turnovers category, netting 31 points off Five Towns College miscues compared to 15 for the opposition. Berkeley held a slim 52-49 edge on the glass, while also committing 20 turnovers to the Sound's 34.
Berkeley College's final game of calendar year 2017 will take place on Sunday afternoon, as the Knights will host the University of Maine at Machias. The contest will take place at the Hill Center on the campus of St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn). Start-time for the contest is scheduled for 12:00pm.