Gallaudet Bison stun St. Elizabeth in annual pink day game to benefit Kay Yow Fund
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Gallaudet University women's basketball team earned its biggest win of the season Saturday before a pink-clad crowd at the Field House as the Bison defeated College of St. Elizabeth, the second-place team in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) South Division, 74-63. The Bison, decked out in pink shoelaces and pink head bands, had four players reach double figures in points while two guards had double-doubles on pink day as GU participated in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association "Play 4Kay" initiative to raise awareness for breast cancer.
It was a fast-paced game from the start as both teams traded offensive and defensive possessions as neither gained the upper hand. Gallaudet (6-15, 4-11 NEAC South) held onto a slim 37-36 lead with 14:23 left in regulation before going on an 18-4 scoring run to place the Bison up 15 points to pull away from St. Elizabeth (14-8, 11-4 NEAC South). The Bison used their size advantage and inside game in the second half to force the visiting Screaming Eagles into foul trouble. St. Elizabeth accumulated 25 fouls (18 in the second half) as Gallaudet made 22 of 35 shots from the free-throw line.
Sophomore guard Stephanie Weiss (Wellington, Fla.) paced all scorers with a career-high 19 points (13 points in second half) as she grabbed five rebounds and passed out four assists for the Bison. Weiss was impressive from three-point range as she made 5 of 9 shots. Freshman guard Claire Tucker (Middletown, Md.) had her first collegiate double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds) to go along with a team-high five assists. Sophomore guard Britny Latham (Cleveland, Tenn.) was the other Bison to notch a double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds), her first of the season. GU's inside game had a one-two punch in freshman forwards Arlene Ngalle (Washington, D.C.), who tallied 11 points, and Elena Ciccarelli (Whitesboro, N.Y.), who grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
St. Elizabeth was led by junior guard Jade Wilson who scored 12 of her team-high 16 points in the second half and led her team with seven assists. Junior Kelly O'Dell also contributed 15 points and eight rebounds. This was the first conference loss for the Screaming Eagles in nearly a month, snapping a streak of eight wins over NEAC foes.
GU was looking to avenge the season's first conference match-up with St. Elizabeth, two weeks ago, a 63-51 loss on the Eagles' home floor. With 11:39 remaining in the first half and Gallaudet leading 18-16, the Bison defense came alive and held St. Elizabeth scoreless for the next six minutes. GU took advantage in that span and built a seemingly comfortable 24-16 lead on a pair of free throws from Latham with 7:48 left on the clock. The Bison then went cold themselves and would only convert on one of their last seven field goals as they committed seven turnovers as head coach Brendan Stern saw the lead quickly shrink back down to two points at the intermission, 29-27. Latham lead all scorers with 10 points at the break.
Gallaudet's defense continued to hold firm throughout the game. The Bison held St. Elizabeth to 31.5 percent shooting from the floor (23 of 72) and never gave NEAC Student-Athlete of the Week Sabrina Jarmolinski a clear scoring opportunity all game, limiting her to only six points on 3 of 18 field goal attempts for the game. Gallaudet took advantage of St. Elizabeth's cold shooting as it grabbed a season-high 53 rebounds and shot 42.6 percent (23-for-54) from the floor themselves, including 50 percent from behind the three-point line (6 of 12). GU's 74 points was the second most scored this season, they tallied 85 against Penn St.-Berks at home on December 11.
Gallaudet will play its regular-season home finale tomorrow (Sunday, Feb. 12) against Penn St.-Abington with a tip-off time slated for 3 p.m.