Quick-strike Del Rosario leads Lehman

More news about: Lehman

Division III Leaders - Points per game

1. Amely Del Rosario - 28.0
2. Dar'Neisha Brice - 27.6
3. Camille McPherson 27.1

Games through December 6, 2016 

Amely Del Rosario caught a pass on the right wing, about eight feet behind the three-point line. It was midway through the first quarter of Lehman’s game at John Jay on Saturday, and Lehman had a 10-4 lead. Del Rosario dribbled while walking to the left, looking in that direction.

Then she faced the basket and took two more steps, these ones smaller and quicker than the first few. The left foot forward, then the right. She picked up her dribble. 

And then came the shot, a high-arcing three-pointer from about five feet behind the line and into the basket. The closest defenders had stayed near the arc, in no position to stop it.

“She kind of sets you up for it,” Brooklyn head coach Alex Lang said in a telephone interview on Monday, the night before his team beat Lehman, 56-53. “She’ll kind of casually dribble the ball down the court, and you think she’s just trying to set up the offense, and all of a sudden she’s jumping up and shooting the ball from deep.”

Del Rosario does not always make those long three-pointers--in fact, she finished the game against John Jay 2-for-14 from behind the arc and is just 6-for-40 from three-point range in Lehman's last three games combined--but she always has the green light to take them.

“Coach is very confident in my shooting,” Del Rosario said of Lehman head coach Eric Harrison in a postgame interview on Saturday. “I’ve learned to build up that confidence. So sometimes, it just looks good, I just let it go.” 

The nation’s leading scorer and the reigning CUNYAC Player of the Year, Del Rosario is the centerpiece of Lehman’s offense. She scores 28 points per game and leads the Lightning in total field goal attempts per game (23.3) and three-point field goal attempts per game (11). She has made 18 of 66 three-pointers.

“We actually practice NBA range and further, because we feel at the Division III level not too many teams are going to guard out there,” Harrison said in a postgame interview on Saturday. “She has the range.”

In addition to her three-pointers, Del Rosario regularly scores transition layups. She also averages 4.2 assists per game, the most among Lehman’s players, and seven rebounds per game. And her team-best 3.3 steals per game can lead to easy buckets, like on Saturday when she swiped an inbounds pass by John Jay under Lehman’s basket and hit a layup.

“I tend to be a little sneaky on the defensive end,” Del Rosario said.

Lang’s Brooklyn team faced Del Rosario three times last season, including in the CUNYAC championship game, which Lehman won 73-67 in overtime. Del Rosario scored a game-high 30 points, shooting 11-for-28 overall and 6-for-16 from three-point range.

“We forced her into a lot of difficult looks,” Lang said. “And we contested everything.”

Well, not quite everything. One bucket in particular was not defended well, Lang said. It was--of course--a long three-pointer.

“There was one shot right before the half where she kind of got a runner from deep, like it was a couple steps in front of half court, and she shot it as the buzzer went and she hit it,” Lang said. “Our girls kind of relaxed that possession in terms of contesting.” 

In preparing for Brooklyn’s game against Lehman this week, Lang discussed Del Rosario’s three-point shooting with his players in practice and a film session, he said. “We showed about four clips of her dribbling down the court and pulling up from deep.”

Del Rosario had an uncharacteristic low-scoring game against Brooklyn, finishing with just 11 points. She has also put up monster numbers this season. Del Rosario scored 41 points against Ferrum, making seven of 15 three-pointers, on Nov. 18. She had 40 points against Rowan on Nov. 26.

“We’re expecting it now,” Harrison said. “We’re expecting big games from her.”

Her career high is 48 points, a school record that she achieved at Hunter on Feb. 9. She has joked with Harrison about how to top that performance.

“She’s always saying she’s going to be the person to score 100 points,” Harrison said. “And I said, ‘I’m not going to be the person that people are talking about me because you scored 100 points.’” 
But, he added, “50-point games wouldn’t surprise me from her.”

Montclair's sharpshooter

No. 12 Montclair State (8-0) has a sharpshooter of its own in senior guard Rachael Krauss. Krauss made six of 12 three-pointers in the Red Hawks’ 81-61 win over William Paterson on Wednesday, finishing with a game-high 18 points.

“She’s a tremendous, tremendous shooter from deep three-point,” Montclair State head coach Karin Harvey said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.

Krauss has had two other standout shooting performances this season, going 6-for-10 from three-point range against Stevens on Nov. 28 and 5-for-10 against Ramapo on Nov. 30. She has taken 59 three-pointers this season, the most on the team.

But Krauss has struggled at times. She made just three of 20 three-pointers in Montclair State’s first four games combined, and she hit only two of seven three-pointers at Rutgers-Newark on Dec. 3. 

“Just like any shooter, I think you’re going to go hot and cold a little bit,” Harvey said. “You just have to keep shooting the ball, and that’s what I said to Rachael.” 

What's better than a buzzer beater?

How about two of them, from the same game, one to send it to overtime and the other to win it? That's exactly what happened when Mount Saint Mary played Purchase State on December 3. Connor Bacci hit a three at the end of regulation to tie the game at 84 and then Tyler McDine followed with the game winner in the extra period.

Courtesy of Mount St. Mary, you can watch the thrilling finish here.

Sarah Sommer

Sarah Sommer is a freelance journalist in New York City. She began writing for D3hoops.com in March 2015, when she covered the women's NCAA Tournament. She is excited to continue covering Division III basketball as the Atlantic columnist.
2011-2015 columns: See Around the Atlantic/Mid-Atlantic