By: Dylan O'Loughlin
Nazareth, NY — The Brockport Golden Eagles women’s basketball team traveled to future Empire 8 opponent Nazareth Golden Flyers as they played their fourth matchup all time against each other. Today though was more of the same as the Brockport Golden Eagles dropped to 0-4 all time against Nazareth in a 73-54 loss.
(Photo Credits: Brockport Athletics)
It did not seem to be a loss in the beginning of the game though and it looked to be a close one all the way to the finish. The scoring started right away for Brockport thanks to senior forward No. 30 Zairea Hannah as she put up the first six points for the Golden Eagles giving them a 6-0 lead. Hannah’s presence was felt throughout the game as Nazareth did not know how to prepare for her. Last year, these two teams faced off in Daytona, Florida and the Golden Flyers won 79-76 in overtime. Hannah was not on the court for Brockport and that showed in the game today as the Golden Flyers could not contain her. After the first few shots went in for Hannah, the scoring began getting contagious as Brockport guard No. 1 Stephanie Jean-Baptiste added to the scoring, draining two threes in the first quarter and a couple of nifty layups.
After the hot start for the Golden Eagles in the first quarter, Nazareth started bringing some offense of their own. At the end of the first and throughout the second quarter sophomore guard No. 4 Katie MacLachlan did most of the scoring for the Golden Flyers as she put up 17 points in the first half on 6-8 shooting from the field and 4-6 from the three. She was the only person on the offensive end for Nazareth as the next leading scorer for them in the first half was another sophomore guard, No. 2 Kiara Anglin. The Brockport defense and effort is what kept this game close in the beginning. They brought a full court press to start the game and that resulted in 10 turnovers for the Golden Flyers. That and the second chance efforts of Hannah crashing the boards made this game as even as it could get. In the first quarter, both teams scored 19 and in the second both teams scored 18, thanks to a half-court buzzer beater to end the half from MacLachlan, resulting in a 37-37 tie heading into half.
“I just think with 10 seconds left, and there’s about 10.1 on the shot clock, you gotta take the last shot,” Brockport Golden Eagles Head Coach Corinne Jones said. “That’s what I mean, details matter, we shouldn’t have taken that early drive.”
Hannah finished with 12 points, 4-4 from the line, and 9 rebounds, five coming from the offensive end in the first half. But heading into the second, Nazareth had adjusted defensively and Hannah became a non-factor.
Momentum began to swing in the second half. Nazareth got their first lead and stopped the scoring of Hannah and Jean-Baptiste to a point where they were almost non-existent. Jean-Baptiste finished the first half with 16 points on 6-9 shooting and 2-3 from three, but ended the game with only 17 points, grabbing one point from the free throw line for the rest of the game thanks to the defensive duties of Anglin. To go along with that Nazareth was able to beat the Brockport press which resulted in Brockport moving to a 2-3 zone in the second half which prevented the turnovers that were occurring frequently in the first.
Thanks to the scoring of the leading scorers on the season for Nazareth so far, MacLachlan, Anglin, graduate guard Olivia Dobrovosky, and sophomore forward Molly Benetti the Golden Flyers were able to win the half 20-3 giving them a 57-40 lead heading into the fourth. That offensive scoring and lazy passes leading to turnovers and missed shots by Brockport really blew the game out of reach.
It was much the same in the fourth. The scorers for Nazareth kept scoring and Brockport just could not get one too fall. Hannah was able to make her presence felt a little more in the fourth rather than the third as she was able to get three of her four blocks in the second half and was able to get Brockport more second chance opportunities. Hannah finished the game with 16 points, 6-6 from the free throw line, 14 rebounds, and 4 blocks.
“I think it’s just a number one priority for me,” Hannah said. “Let my team get those extra points and keep that intensity and keep being repetitive in it.”
For Nazareth it was much of the opposite. Katie MacLachlan led all scorers with 26 points, shooting 5-10 from three and 10-18 on the day, just over 50%. Then the rest of the double figure scorers on the season put in their work as well. Benetti finished with 12 points, Dobrovosky with 14, and Anglin with 14 as well. Nazareth would end up winning the tightly contested fourth quarter 16-14 officially giving them a 19 point win and improving to 7-1 on the season.
The Brockport Golden Eagles on the other hand fall to 5-4 after a tough three game stretch all resulting in losses to New Paltz, Hamilton, and now Nazareth. Brockport heads into the break looking to forget about those losses and focus on SUNYAC play and make a run for the playoffs as they travel to Oswego State in the new year on January 5th.