MORRISTOWN, N.J. – Freshman guard Ashley Pledger registered her first career double-double but it was not enough as SUNY Old Westbury used a powerful post game to defeat Saint Elizabeth 85-71 in non-conference basketball action Sunday afternoon at St. Joseph’s Hall.
The Screaming Eagles fall to 2-5 overall while the Panthers improve their record to 3-4.
Pledger made 7 of her 15 shots from the floor for a team-high 14 points to go along with a career-best 10 boards and five assists. Backcourtmate Amerisse Rogers added 11 points while junior shooting guard Cheyenne Grant also hit double figures with 10 points.
Old Westbury attacked down load from the onset. Junior forward DeAndra Scott made a jumper in the paint at 15:43 to give the visitors an 11-7 lead. The Panthers powered off a 9-2 run capped by transition jumper in the paint from Antoinette Jolly at 11:45.
Still trailing by 11 points with 3:30 left in the half, CSE fought back to tie the contest at halftime with a 13-2 run of its own. Freshman forward Sharolin Sanders fueled the run with seven points, including a deep 3-pointer.
The score was tied 37-37 at the intermission with Scott leading all scorers with 12 points as Old Westbury hit 46.7 percent of its attempts from the field. Sanders had nine markers for CSE which made 11 steals and forced 20 first-half turnovers.
Old Westbury continued to power the ball down low at the start of the second half and opened up the first 3:30 with a 11-3 run to hold the 48-40 lead.
The Screaming Eagles refused to go away, forcing more Panther turnovers. Grant made one of the team’s 17 swipes at 11:02 and O’Dell hit freshman Chantele Clark for a layup to cut the Old Westbury lead to 56-55.
Old Westbury countered with more looks for Scott, who finished with a game-high 26 points, and the Panthers lead grew back to 10. Scott would also register a double-double, leading Old Westbury with 15 rebounds. Fellow post Chloe Mellon added 13 points and nine boards to go along with five blocks.
The Panthers lead grew to as large as 19 at the 2:02 mark, but as many in the North Eastern Athletic Conference know, Saint Elizabeth was not backing away. Six quick points by Rogers got CSE within 11 points, but 5-of-8 free-throw shooting in the last two minutes by Old Westbury kept the home team at bay.
In a physical game from the start, the Panthers held a 55-46 rebounding advantage while CSE won the turnover battle (34-29).
O’Dell had six steals, giving her a total of 21 swipes in the last three games.
CSE fans will get one more shot to cheer on their team this semester: The Screaming Eagles host Yeshiva on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. in St. Joseph’s Hall. Saint Elizabeth is back in action during the second semester with three consecutive home games, starting with Morrisville State on Jan. 5 at 1 p.m.