By Anthony Covino
On Monday night, the FDU women’s basketball team defeated Bryant 63-53 in a stellar offensive performance. Senior Peniel M’Bikata, a 5-10 guard from Canada, led the Knights with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
She controlled the paint as FDU cleaned up with 42 rebounds to Bryant’s 33. The Knights led 30-23 at halftime. The leading scorer for the Knights was 5-8 senior guard Natalie Zamora with 13. The Knights converted 18 out of 21 free-throw attempts (85.7 percent).
“Bryant is traditionally one of the better teams in our league and one thing they are traditionally known for is rebounding,” said FDU coach Peter Cinella. “They are the number-one rebounding team in the league this year. I said if we could just hang with them on the boards, I think we have a chance, but for us to out-rebound them by nine and take away their greatest strength — it was really a team effort.”
The Knights will look to extend their winning streak when they host first-place Robert Morris on Feb. 2. The Colonials are 8-0 in the NEC.
Bryant (4-4, 6-13) was led by 5-10 junior guard Sydney Holloway with 20 points. Bryant’s 5-8 junior guard Masey Zegarowski added 15 points. Bryant escaped tied for 5th place in the NEC.
The crowd’s energy started to pick up the volume in the second half when then the Knights were closing in on a win. Officially counted at 178, the crowd was on its feet applauding as the women ended a two-game skid. The Knights improved to 6-13 with a 3-5 record in the NEC, tied for 7th.
FDU’s Lauren Francillon, a 6-2 junior from Maryland, and the No. 12 scorer in the league, averaging 11.2 points and 6.8 rebounds a game, was limited to 9 points and 5 rebounds in 14 minutes of play due to fouls.