The Brooklyn College (BC) Bulldogs Women’s Basketball team won the CUNYAC Championship and played the Christopher Newport Captains (CNU) in the NCAA Tournament Division 3 round one. CUNY is the New York City public colleges. The game was at the Freeman Center in Newport News, Virginia on March 3rd at 6 p.m., and CNU had the home court advantage. Both teams are impressive and play very smart and are well-coached. CNU is a small college with only 5,000 students.
The Bulldogs lost 89-52, and it was not blown out till the fourth quarter. The Captains average 87 points a game and winning by 33 points which was close to what happened.
It came out in the after-game press conference that the Bulldogs had to take an eight-hour bus ride to Virginia. A big factor in the loss is the team had a stomach bug and were weak on Game Day and the day prior. The best player went to the locker room during the game as did other players. It appeared a player was throwing up. Players fought through it. The coach missed the shoot around due to it and his assistants filled in.
The Bulldogs this season were 19-7 and had 15 straight wins. During the season, they won games convincingly by over 60 points twice and once by 48 points. They lost a top player this season. BC threepeated the CUNYAC Championships. Point guard Giavanni Gotti was the CUNYAC player of the season and also CUNYAC Tournament MVP. She is near the tops in the country, averaging 22 points a game and second in steals. Also recording 5.5 assists and six rebounds a game.
The Captains’ record was 26-0 and 68-1 going back a few years. This season, the run and gun Captains had a defense that gave up a very low 51 points a game and caused almost 30 turnovers a game. Anaya Simmons shoots field goals at 68%, which is second in the country, and Sandra Fan shoots 3 pointers at 42%.
They won wire to wire which they have done 15 times this season. The CNU Captains got off to an 9-2 lead and never lost the lead. The first quarter ended with Captains leading 27-15, which is high scoring. CNU is a more physical team than the Bulldogs usually face.
In the second quarter the Bulldogs went five minutes without scoring and very few times got to the free throws line. Gotti hit a buzzer beater shot from just under half court in the last second to end the half. In the quarter, a 22-point lead was cut to16. The Captains had 12 points off the bench and 10 steals. In the first half, the leading Bulldogs scorer was Sara James who had three three-pointers and a total of 11 points and five rebounds.
The Captains’ Anaya Simmons in the third quarter hurt her leg and never returned. She had 11 points for the game on five for five shooting. The lead went to 61-41 with five minutes to go in the quarter. The quarter had a very slow pace and ended with a 17-point lead. In the fourth quarter, the Captains really increased their lead as it ended 89-52.
The second half, Gotti was the leading scorer and led both teams for the game with 16 points. CNU’s Gabbi San Diego is a 5 foot, 1 inch guard who scored 13 points for the game.
The Captains used all 15 players so had plenty of energy for pressing and trapping, especially on Gotti and denying her the ball as she was double teamed. They won the forced turnover stat 15-7.
They had good dribblers and penetrating drives by their guards. Also, they were very good passing and especially inside the lane passing. Because players did not play heavy minutes, they had an effective full court press.
From the applause it sounded like many BC fans traveled to the game or ex-New Yorkers were there. Captain Coach Bill Broderick has been coaching for 10 years and an impressive record being in the tournament seven straight years and nine out of 10 times. The Captains won 38 straight home games going back past last year. He praised the Bulldogs’ effort.
BC Coach Alex Lang has won many CUNYAC Championships and has been Coach of the Year many times. Last year, he advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He was disappointed but liked the effort his team gave and proud of the whole of the season’s success. Players talked highly of him.
BC purposefully played a tough schedule so they could grow. Many players are seniors that will not be back next season. BC had knowledgeable fans and appreciated the joy the team gave them. Players had a chemistry on and off the court. The scores will eventually be forgotten, but they practiced teamwork and covering for their teammate and sacrificing their stats to be role players for the good of the team.
It appeared the game was not going to be streamed, and the loyal fans would miss it. I found a link and Christopher Newport’s Video Manager and TV broadcaster Rob Smith was a great help, and Brooklyn College gladly posted the link.
Photo Credit: BC Athletics