The Brooklyn College Bulldogs (24-6) were the #1 seed in the ECAC Division lll Metro Women’s Basketball Championships. They lost to #2 Hartwick College (21-8) in the championship final 67-62 Sunday afternoon, March 3rd in the West Quad Center to a big crowd of 234. This is the first time for both to make the finals.
Hartwick’s Maria Foglia was named the tournament’s most outstanding player for her efforts over the Hawks three games in the championships. The game was easier to watch than others in the tournament. There were fast breaks, 3 point shots and possibly less zone defense. Fast break points were 14 to 4. The games was close through most of the game. It was a game of runs with each team running a 7 or 8 point and other runs on the other.
The Bulldogs’ point guard Nicole Francomano had a few full court lay ups. She drove into the lane and had sharp bounce passes to Vanessa D’Ambrosi, who had a good post up game. Brittaany Bowen had some nice moves. Charnelle Saint Laurent had some steals. There was good inside passing and back door cuts. The refs were quick to call held balls as if they anticipated it.
Hartwick scored the first seven points on the afternoon. Brooklyn’s Brittany Bowen got the Bulldogs on the scoreboard with a three-pointer at the 16:32 mark of the opening period. BC would spend the rest of the half chipping away at its deficit and would take its first lead of the game in the closing seconds of the half on 2 fast break layups on steals to give the home team a 31-30 halftime advantage. Brooklyn closed out the period with a 7-0 run.
To begin the second half the Bulldogs went on an 8-0 run to go ahead, 39-30. Bowen hit a pair of three-pointers. Saint Laurent would later give Brooklyn its largest lead of the game, 44-34, with a three-pointer at the 15:27 mark of the second half. Coach Alex Lang thought after this lead BC let up a little.
The Hawks would begin its comeback attempt, as Hartwick used a quick 7-0 spurt to cut its deficit to three, 44-41, with 13:27 remaining in the game. The Hawks eventually got the lead at 10:19, following a three-pointer from Foglia that put the visitors up 47-46.
(Photo of BC seniors last game)
Brooklyn would never hold the lead again, as the Bulldogs were only able to tie the game twice, first at 47-47 (10:08) on a free throw from Nicole Francomano and then later on at 49-49 (9:48) on a jumper from Francomano.
Hartwick would answer each bucket by the Bulldogs to keep the distance. After a layup from Francomano that made it 62-59 in favor of the Hawks with just 4:08 remaining on the clock, both team’s offenses would go cold, as neither team would score until Foglia’s layup with just 59 ticks left on the clock, putting Hartwick up five, 64-59.
Bowen led all scorers with 19 points, while Vanessa D’Ambrosi added 15 points, eight rebounds and four steals. Francomano finished the day with 11 points and four assists. For Hartwick, Brittany Dumas recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Foglia and Kate Purcell each finished with 15 points. Carlee Hirt added 10 points coming off the bench and good ball handling and passing from Alicia Razanousky.
Brooklyn shot 42% from the field and 32% from three. The Bulldogs also shot 57% from the line. The Hawks shot an outstanding 54% from the field, including 46% from beyond the arc. Hartwick shot 58% from the charity stripe. Everyone had different views on the keys to the game. Coach Alex Lang was named coach of the year. He said some keys to the loss were rebounding and Tiffany Thompson was hurt and did not play. Also some shots went down the rim and came out. BC was out rebounded by 7 and second chance points 14 to 9. A bit after the game in the lobby he had a talk with the Hawks coach Missy West and was complimentary.
Hawks Ana Horowitz thought the key was focusing on the defense and team basketball verse one on one. MVP Maria Foglia thought factors were clutch free throws, key shots, stops on defense and rebounds. Hawks Coach Missy West played for Duke University and said there was no one key factor. After the game in the lobby photographers wanted her photo with the team but she wanted them to have their moment. To win the championship they had to win their last 3 games. With back to back games consecutive days Hartwick College is a 4 hour drive away. Rather than drive 4 hours and then back they stayed in a motel in New Jersey. Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains.
Brooklyn will have 5 seniors leaving but return nine players from this year’s team next season, including CUNY Athletic Conference All-Stars D’Ambrosi (First Team) and Francomano (Second Team).
About 2 years ago Mike Hipscher retired from many years of teaching physical education classes at BC and he was the deputy chairperson. He correctly predicted an out of bounds play Hartwick called. The play worked many times. He said to beat a zone defense is to flash to the post and have cutters coming off it, also by passing and movement. He talked about using the skip pass and cross court pass. He said some religions cannot play Saturday night and Sunday. He noted all the favorites had won the tournament Saturday. Alex Lang was Coach of the year. Hipsher said that Lang is very good coaching defense, pressing, player movement and the open pass and that his teams hustle.
The bench the second they won.