Hoop Stars Shoot Past Sacred Heart

By Julian Bell
Sports Writer

(HACKENSACK) – The women’s basketball team came back to win at home against Sacred Heart University 58-56 on Feb. 6, after being down by four points at the end of the half. Rainy Cox was a major scoring leader in the Knights victory over the no. 1 ranked Pioneers.

“We managed to hit some three’s against a first place team. A few too many turnovers, but Rainy Cox and Madelynn Comly were tremendous in the fourth quarter,” said Knights Head Coach Peter J. Cinella after the win.

The Knights secured a 3-0 lead early on in the first quarter after Rainy Cox made a three-pointer good from downtown. It wasn’t long before the Pioneers outscored FDU gaining a 6-5 lead. After this, Sacred Heart either outscored or matched the Knights in scoring for the remainder of the half.

Sacred Heart (13-11, 10-3 NEC) was tied with the Knights 14-14 after the first quarter and led 24-20 at the half. The Pioneers got nine first half points from Adaysha Williams and 16 of their second half points from Katherine Haines. Fairleigh Dickinson (7-17, 5-8 NEC) shot 25.8 percent (8-31) from the field in the first half, compared to 50 percent in the final two quarters.

The Knights were able to make it a four point game during the second period, trailing the Pioneers 20-24. By the third period of play, FDU had trouble closing the gap between Sacred Heart, falling eight points behind their opponent with 5:38 left in the quarter.

They were able to score 3 points off of turnovers for the period while catching up to their opponent. As the quarter came to a close, the Pioneers extended their lead by nine points 42-33.

During the fourth with the game at 42-35, the Knights cut the lead to five, 42-37 off of a layup made by Madelynn Comly in the paint with 9:24 left remaining.

The Pioneers held the persistent FDU team at bay for as long as they could, but the Knights penetrated right through their defense. Trailing their opponent now by only three points 43-40, the Knights dominated the remainder of the contest with their three point shooting.

The three point war began with 6:38 left in the contest. Madelynn Comly put down a three good from downtown making it a two point game for the Knights. Then with 4:56 left Amina Markovic knocked down a 3 of her own giving FDU their first lead since the first quarter. With the Knights now up 55-53, the Pioneers were left unable to recover in the last minute comeback.

The clock wound down as FDU maintained their lead ending the contest with the final score. Comly made a layup good in the paint to conclude the game 58-56.

For the game,  Sacred Heart shot 42.9 percent (12-28) with a 28-26 advantage in the paint. The Pioneers were paced by Katherine Haines who had 22 points, and went 4-0f-5 on the foul line. Adaysha Williams scored 13 points and went 1-of-2 from the 3-point line. Hannah Kimmel scored five points while Shelby Hickey led the Pioneers in assists with two.

For FDU, Comly finished with seven rebounds and three-three pointers along with another career high of 22 points on the night leading the Knights in every major category Rainey Cox and Lauren Francillon each had 5 rebounds with Cox scoring 14 points and three assists, another career high against Sacred Heart. Peniel M’Bikata and Amina Markovic each had six points on the night. Courtney Blakenship went a perfect 1-for-1 (100 percent) from the free throw line and had two steals.

The Lady Knights look for redemption as they prepare for Mount St. Mary’s on Saturday Feb. 18. The tip-off is set for 2 p.m. and FDU will have home court advantage in the Stratis Arena.