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Women’s Basketball Wins Opener, Routs SUNY-Delhi 84-47 at Villa Maria Classic

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Marygrove women’s basketball started the 2015-16 campaign on a winning note, routing the SUNY-Delhi Broncos by an 84-47 final on day one of the Hart Hotels Classic hosted by Villa Maria College. The win marked the first season-opening victory for the Mustangs (1-0) since Nov. 10, 2012 when the Green and Gold topped Kuyper (Mich.) 77-40 in Detroit.

The last two season winning season-openers have been decided by identical 37-point differentials for the Mustangs.

Friday’s (Oct. 30) season-opener in Buffalo, N.Y. also marked another first – the first Marygrove women’s basketball game to be played in four-quarter increments. Women’s college basketball played two halves until the rules committee changed the format to four quarters effective for the 2015-16 season. Men’s college basketball will remain a two-half game despite the changes made on the women’s side.

Balanced play and smart decisions with the ball helped the Mustangs get off to a strong start en route to a 21-13 lead after the first quarter against the Broncos (0-1). The Mustangs were strong on the glass as well, limited the Broncos possessions early on to take a three-possession lead after the first 10-minute quarter expired.

The Mustangs broke the game open in the next frame, outscoring the Broncos 26-8 to race out to a commanding 47-21 halftime lead in the opener. Third-year head coach Craig Covington went into the break pleased with his team’s performance, but knew a strong third quarter was needed in order to put away the Broncos.

“We talked at the half and knew we needed to match our first-half effort in order to pick up the win,” said Covington after the game. “Our girls came out strong, but the key today was their ability to maintain that effort throughout the course of the 40-minute game.”

Covington and the Mustangs kept their foot on the pedal in the third quarter by limiting the Broncos to 13 points while the Green and Gold enjoyed their best output of the contest with 31 points in the frame. The 31-13 third-quarter put the Broncos in an insurmountable deficit, 78-34, allowing the Mustangs to cruise to an 84-47 victory.

Elisha Major (Flushing, Mich./Flushing High School) led all scorers with 21 points and also chipped in with a game-high six steals. The junior guard was followed by Shavarra Patton (Detroit, Mich./Northwestern High School) who poured in 17 points to go along with a balanced line of 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Breanna Thomas (San Antonio, Texas/Gillette CC) put together arguably the most efficient effort on the floor for the Green and Gold, going 5-of-7 from the floor and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line to tally 16 points. Thomas also pulled down a game-high tying 12 rebounds, equaling the effort of teammate Theresa Dray (Davison, Mich./Davison High School) who reeled in 12 boards of her own to accompany a career-high 11 points.

The 11-point, 12-rebound game marked the first double-double of Dray’s career and was one three double-doubles for the Mustangs in the opener.

Newcomer Taylor Kelley (Farmington Hills, Mich./Adrian College) dazzled as well, posting a 6-for-10 line from the floor for 14 points. Kelley also helped setup the offense with four assists and a pair of steals. Taylor Moore (Madison Heights, Mich./Madison High School) rounded out the scoring for the Mustangs with five points, helped by making one of the Mustangs’ four three-pointers in the game. Moore pulled down six rebounds while Diamond Jones (Detroit, Mich./Allen Academy) chimed in with one rebound while contributing valuable minutes down low for Covington and the Mustangs.

“Our win was a product of good shooting and smart decisions with the basketball,” remarked Covington – who also won his first season-opener at the collegiate level. “We stayed away from foul trouble and played well in all phases of the game. I’m pleased with our effort overall and look forward to seeing the team work hard again tomorrow against another quality team.”

The Broncos were led by Angelica Fox with 14 points on 6-of-20 shooting. As a team, the Broncos shot 23-percent from the floor compared to the Mustangs 43.7-percent clip.

The Mustangs will conclude play in New York Saturday (Oct. 31) with a 12 p.m. tip opposite Central Penn College.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CONTACT: Tim Johnston | [email protected]/* */ | @tjohnston56
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Category: Women's Basketball

Today - 19 November 2018