Women's Hoops Upset #5/6 William Paterson, 88-84
UNION, N.J. (1/14/12) – Senior Brittany Powell and junior Naimah Clemons combined for 47 points to lead the Kean University women's basketball team to an 88-84 upset win over #5/6 William Paterson University in overtime on Saturday afternoon in New Jersey Athletic Conference action.
Powell scored a team-high 25 points, while Clemons added 22 points in her first game back after missing the last three games with an injury, as the #23/NR Cougars (15-2, 6-0 NJAC) remain undefeated in the NJAC and hand William Paterson its first loss of the season.
For the Pioneers (15-1, 5-1 NJAC), senior April Smith had game-highs of 34 points and 16 rebounds.
The Cougars used an 11-0 run in the early minutes of the game to quickly build a 15-4 lead, as senior forward Danielle McFadden (pictured left) capped the run with a three-point play with 13:34 remaining in the half. William Paterson answered right back with 11 straight points of its own, with Smith scoring the final seven points of the run to tie the game at 15-15 with just under 11 minutes left.
William Paterson would take its first lead of the half since scoring the opening basket when sophomore Jewell Palmer knocked down a pair of free throws and the two teams exchanged baskets before a jumper by senior guard Noel Mathis gave the Cougars the lead with 7:14 remaining in the half. The Cougars would once again extend the lead to double-digits (37-27) on a layup by McFadden, before the Pioneers cut the lead in half to trail 38-33 at the break.
Powell netted 12 points in the first half for the Cougars. Smith nearly had the double-double at the break with 15 points and nine rebounds, as William Paterson converted 13-of-15 from the foul line in the opening half, compared to just 4-of-7 for Kean.
In the second half, the Cougars scored 10 of the first 14 points to take a 48-37 lead on a lay-up by Clemons just 3:19 into the half. William Paterson scored the game's next eight points of the game to pull back to within three points, as Smith netted six of the team's points. A layup by junior Kyanne Sager capped four straight points for Kean, pushing the lead back to seven points at 52-45, before the Pioneers would eventually use a 7-0 run to take a 58-56 lead on a three-pointer by Dana Jeter with 8:17 to go in regulation.
William Paterson controlled the next three and half minutes of the game, building its largest lead of the game at 60-55 on a layup by Jeter with 4:48 left. The Cougars answered right back, scoring five straight points as McFadden capped the run with another three-point play with 3:14 remaining in the second half.
A pair of free throws by Smith would give William Paterson its final lead of the game at 67-65 at the 2:30 mark. Back-to-back layups by Clemons tied the game and gave the Cougars the two-point lead at 69-67 with just 90 seconds remaining. William Paterson senior BriAnna Lucas, the reigning NJAC co-Player of the Year, had a pair of free throws to tie the game with 66 seconds left and Clemons and Lucas would trade driving layups on each team's next possession for the 71 tie with 48 seconds left.
Powell (pictured right) gave the Cougars a two-point lead with a lay-up and after a Pioneer miss, she extended the lead to three-points when she made 1-of-2 from the foul line with 14 seconds remaining. William Paterson sophomore Floriana Borova forced overtime when she knocked down the long three-pointer from the right side with six seconds remaining.
Powell opened overtime with a lay-up and the Pioneers could only manage to tie the game at 76-76, as a jumper by Mathis on Kean's next possession gave the Cougars the lead for good. A pair of free throws by Powell extended the lead to 86-81, before Lucas hit a three-pointer with 41 seconds left to pull William Paterson to within two points. Kean pushed the lead to three points with a free throw with 10 seconds left, giving William Paterson a shot at tying the game. However, McFadden got a steal underneath the Pioneer basket and Mathis hit 1-of-2 free throws to seal the win.
All five starters for the Cougars finished in double-figures, as McFadden and Mathis each had a double-double. McFadden had 14 points, 11 rebounds and five steals, while Mathis totaled 13 points, 12 assists and seven steals. Kean junior Simone Smith finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.
Smith, who played for Kean in 2007-08 before transferring to William Paterson, hit 13-of-18 shots from the floor and 8-of-9 from the foul line en-route to her game-high 34 points. Lucas finished with 16 points and Borova added 15 points on the strength of a combined 13-of-14 shooting from the free throw line, however both combined to shoot just 8-of-30 from the floor, while making 17 turnovers.
The Cougars return to action on Tuesday, January 17, when Kean travels to face defending national champion and #1 Amherst College. The Cougars were the only team to defeat the Lord Jeffs last season, when Kean defeated them 85-82 in overtime at Harwood Arena on January 11th.