by Caroline McCarthy & Kelly Kennedy, Staff Writers
The Manhattan College women’s basketball team dominated Bloomfield College in an exhibition game last Friday night.
After winning the tip-off, senior Pamela Miceus found classmate Gabby Cajou, who scored on a layup. That was only the first 5 seconds.
The game continued in favor of the Lady Jaspers, who were able to develop a healthy lead early in the first period. Players Courtney Warley, Sydney Watkins, and Gabby Cajou all contributed to the scoring fun and allowed the Lady Jaspers to finish the quarter with a comfortable 23-8 point lead.
The Jaspers knew they would not be handed this victory. For the 2018-2019 basketball season, the Jaspers finished with 12 wins and 19 losses. The team has been working tirelessly to improve this upcoming season, relying heavily on the strength of returning players, while also capitalizing on the talent of their rookies.
“We have been practicing really well, and this year we not only have talent, but our talent has experience,” head coach Heather Vulin said.
This hard work and dedication was evident throughout the game, as the Jaspers were able to keep their lead going with players Sini Mäkelä and Pamela Miceus scoring within the first 2 minutes of the second quarter to extend the lead to 19.
The Jaspers stayed in control throughout the second quarter by working together. Manhattan’s Emily Lapointe, Lynette Tait, and Sydney Watkins controlled the scoring in the second quarter. Watkins especially made her presence felt by sinking multiple 3-pointers in the quarter.
“I came in ready to work hard after so many practices. My teammates were always able to find me on the court so I think we all worked well together,” said Watkins.
The Bears fought back to the best of their ability in the second quarter, but were only able to score seven more points for the rest of the half. Julie Høer ended the half by nailing a free throw within the last few seconds to bring her team’s lead to 52-15.
Starting off the second half, the Jaspers took the lead once again with Tait starting things off strong by scoring right away. That bucket set the tone for the rest of the half.
“I was really proud of the focus the team had,” head coach Heather Vulin said. “One of the goals our team had was to dominate every category and I think we accomplished that.”
Although Bloomfield almost doubled the amount of points they previously had over the course of the third quarter, they were still no match for the Lady Jaspers. Points were continuously scored by Courtney Warley, Sini Mäkelä, Lizahya Morgan and Christina Katsamouri. Along with their teammates, they brought Manhattan to a whopping 55-point lead by the time the third quarter was over.
The fourth quarter was merely a formality, as the game was already over for the Bears. The Jaspers had a tremendous lead already but continued to outperform until the very last buzzer. The Lady Jaspers surpassed 100 points, with the help of key players Christina Katsamouri, LaPointe, and Høer.
“I think it’s exciting, every time you drop 100 points it’s a great thing,” said Vulin, “I think that will give a lot of our players confidence going into the season and I think it will help prove that if we are committed to defense anything can happen.”
The Lady Jaspers finished strong with an impressive first game as evidenced by the 107 to 37 scoreline.
“The game was phenomenal, and with the end score being 107-37 that really just proves how hard we have been working. We were so strategic, and you could really tell that they plan out every move that they make,” said freshman Melissa Angel who was in attendance to witness Manhattan’s win.
The Lady Jaspers will go on the road to play the Stony Brook Seawolves this Friday, November 8th. The team hopes their success against Bloomfield will carry over against a tougher team like the Seawolves.
“I think this game sets the bar. We really want to just keep going up from here and this is only the start,” said Watkins.