Kean Women Advance to Sweet Sixteen

Kean Women Advance to Sweet Sixteen
Kean Athletics

UNION, N.J. (3/5/11) - Senior forward Tiffany Patrick had game-high of 21 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Kean University women's basketball team into the Sweet Sixteen, as the Cougars defeated Western Connecticut State University, 82-64, in the second round of the NCAA Division Women's Basketball Tournament on Saturday evening.The Cougars (24-4) advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the fourth time in the last five seasons and will square off against Christopher Newport University next Friday, March 11, at a site and time to be announced.

WestConn senior center Melissa Teel had a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Colonials (24-4).

Patrick scored the first six points of the game and quickly extended the lead to double-digits at 14-2 just 4:28 into the contest. The Kean lead grew to 30-11 with 7:51 left in the half following a lay-up by sophomore Naimah Clemons, however WestConn answered back with a 17-5 run to cut the deficit back to single digits at 35-28 with 4:13 left in the half. Teel opened the run with a pair of free throws, before the Colonials knocked down three-pointers on three straight possessions. The Cougars scored six straight points, including four from Clemons, to push the lead back out to double-digits, as Kean took a 45-33 lead into the break.

The Cougars had three in double-figures in the opening half, as Patrick led the way with 12 points and seven rebounds. Clemons added 11 points and rookie Emily Cristaldi (pictured right) netted 10 points in the first half. For the Colonials, Teel had eight points and nine rebounds, however the Cougar defense held her to just 2-of-10 shooting from the floor.
In the opening half, Kean shot nearly 54 percent (21-of-39) from the floor in the opening half, while limiting WestConn to just 10-of-30 shooting (.333).

WestConn opened the second half with an 11-2 run to pull to within three points at 47-44 following a three-pointer by senior Heather Lee just 3:49 into the half. That would be as close as the Colonials could get however, as Kean scored the game's next eight points to extend the lead back to double-digits.

The Cougars maintained a double-digit for much of the game's next seven minutes of action, before WestConn trimmed the lead back to six points following an 8-0 run, pulling to within 67-61 with 6:14 left in the game. Kean answered with a 12-0 run of its own to take a 79-61 lead with 1:30 left following a jumper Cristaldi to pull away for the victory.

Clemons finished with 15 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Cristaldi added 14 points and three assists. Senior forward Angelica Bermudez scored all 14 of her points in the second half, hitting 7-of-9 shots from the floor in the half.

The Cougars held Teel, who entered the game shooting nearly 63 percent from the floor, to just 5-of-21 shooting for the game. The senior center hit all eight of her free throws and had seven blocks in her final career game.

Also for the Colonials, senior guard Karli Spera had 15 points and junior guard Stephanie Slonski added 12 points.