Patchogue, N.Y.—The St. Joseph's Golden Eagles (10-10, SKY 4-5) fell to the Purchase Panthers (11-9, SKY 6-4) in Tuesday night's Skyline Conference game, 75-66. Despite the loss, SJC certainly put up a fight as Amanda Bender (East Northport, N.Y./ Northport) scored a game-high 23 points while Laura Cohen (Smithtown, N.Y./ Smithtown East) was close behind with 21.
Christina Cohen (Smithtown, N.Y./ Smithtown East) started the Lady Eagles off on the right foot with a three-point jumper two minutes into the game; Bender and Laura Cohen followed up shortly after with a made lay-up and a three-pointer respectively, putting SJC up by four. Purchase quickly caught their breath though, scoring 11 unanswered points in only four minutes and taking the lead with 13 minutes left in the half. Determined, the Eagles powered back as Danielle Hamlin's (Centereach, N.Y./Centereach) three-pointer at 6:42 tied the game at 25. SJC failed to take the lead however as Purchase went on another run, sinking 12 unanswered points before the Eagles could score again. St. Joseph's trailed at the half, 39-28.
The Lady Eagles were slow to find their groove for the first ten minutes of the second half, failing to make a significant dent in the score as Purchase's ten point lead grew to a 20 point lead with eight minutes left on the clock. Again SJC fought back and, sparked by two free throws by Ashley Larrea (Medford, N.Y./ Patchogue-Medford) and a three-pointer by Christina Cohen, they closed the gap to ten and brought the game within reach.
Despite a surge of energy late in the game, the Panther's early lead was too much to overcome for St. Joseph's.
In addition to Bender's 23 points, she also ripped down 14 rebounds; Laura Cohen's points were also complemented by nine rebounds. Larrea and Christina Cohen each contributed eight points. As a team, the Eagles shot 34.7% from the field and 57.1% from the foul line.
The Lady Eagles will take the court again in a 3 p.m. Skyline home game on Saturday against NYU-Polytechnic.