Pictured: Senior guard Natalie Zamora is averaging eight points per game while logging 30.4 minutes per game, the most on the team.
By JUSTIN RIMPI
The Northeast Conference schedule is more than halfway finished and the FDU women’s basketball team finds itself clinging to eighth in the conference standings and the final spot in the conference tournament
The Knights are 6-14, 3-6 in conference. There are 10 teams in the NEC, and the top eight teams in the conference qualify for the tournament. The Knights are tied with Central Connecticut, who is also 3-6 in the conference.
At the time of publication, the NEC standings are as follows:
1. Robert Morris (9-0)
2. St. Francis (BK) (6-3)
3. Sacred Heart (6-3)
4. St. Francis (PA) (6-3)
5. Mt. St. Mary’s (4-5)
6. Bryant (4-5)
7. Wagner (4-5)
8. Fairleigh Dickinson (3-6)
9. Central Connecticut (3-6)
10. LIU Brooklyn (0-10)
In the next two weeks, as the Knights hit the homestretch of the season, they find themselves on the road for three out of these four games as they attempt to improve their conference standings:
Sat. Feb. 9 @St. Francis (BKN)
Mon. Feb. 11 @Sacred Heart
Sat. Feb. 16 vs. St. Francis
Mon. Feb. 18 @Bryant
Currently in his 12th season as the head coach of the Knights, Peter Cinella is looking for consistency from his team which is something they have struggled with all throughout the season.
For example, in the Knights 63-43 loss at home against Robert Morris on Feb. 2, the team was outscored 23-9 in the first quarter. During the remaining three quarters the Knights were only outscored by a total of six points.
“We must find a way to play consistently for all four quarters. Most games we play, we outplay a team for three quarters but we have one quarter that puts us in a hole,” head coach Peter Cinella told The Equinox.
Junior forward Lauren Francillon is the only Knight scoring in double figures on the season. She is averaging 10.5 points per game, 10th overall during conference play. Francillon is also averaging 8.9 rebounds, third best in the conference.
Senior guard Natalie Zamora is averaging 2.2 steals, third best in conference play.
The Knights are allowing the third lowest three-point percentage during conference play, 31 percent to go along with also being third in the NEC in defensive rebounds per game, 25.1. The Knights are also averaging 3.8 blocked shots per game, which is the third best mark in the Northeast Conference.
“Many teams have a returning all-conference player that they can go to in these situations. We do not. We have to rely on teamwork and multiple players stepping up when we need a key hoop or stop,” said Cinella.
The NEC tournament begins March 11 and concludes March 17.
Written February 6, 2019
Photograph by Anthony Covino