Ally, Russell Lead Cyclones Women Over CCNY
HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. (December 29, 2011) – The Cyclones used a double-double by junior Heather Russell (Hamburg, N.J./Wallkill Valley Reg.)(12 points, 12 rebounds) and a game high 24 points from senior Hannah Ally (Phillipsburg, N.J./Phillipsburg) to power past the City College of New York Beavers 74-55.
In addition to the offensive production, Centenary used a tight defense to force 25 turnovers, led by five steals by Ally. Ally also provided three blocks to keep the Beavers at bay.
The Cyclones and Beavers played virtually even throughout the first half after an initial 6-0 Centenary run to open the game. Once the pace settled down, the Beavers cut into the lead and eventually tied the game at nine on a layup by Donika Rexhepi who finished with 24 points. The score would sway back and forth with six lead changes and nine ties. The Cyclones would get a basket from senior Colleen Collins (Colmar, Pa./Lansdale Catholic) with under ten seconds remaining in the half to give Centenary a 37-35 lead at the intermission; a lead the Cyclones would not relinquish.
Centenary would open the second half with five straight points highlighted by Russell's layup and conversion of the ensuing free throw to push the Cyclones lead to seven. CCNY would narrow the lead, however Rexhepi, the Beavers' top scoring threat, found herself in foul trouble. The Cyclones took full advantage and stretched the lead to 10 using eight points within 3 minutes from senior Jen Vasta (Boonton, N.J./Boonton). Centenary continued to play tough defense, forcing turnovers leading to Cyclones baskets on the other end.
When all was said and done, the Cyclones walked off the court with a 19 point victory in which Head Coach Justin Phoenix was proud of his team's effort.
"It's great to have the last game of 2011 be a win. It was a good collective win. Everybody really contributed." Phoenix was also pleased with the defensive effort put forth. "Defensively we forced the issue. We got some steals and some layups which gave us a chance to stretch the lead."
The Cyclones once again spread the scoring among the team. Phoenix was happy to see his team work together versus CCNY. "Everyone was there for each other. When someone would struggle early, we all stayed positive. It led to a good collective effort."
The Centenary women are next in action on Tues. Jan. 3 when they host Wilkes University at 7 pm.