Kean Women Open NCAA Tourney with 80-49 Win Over Vassar

UNION, N.J. (3/4/11) – Senior forward Tiffany Patrick had 20 points, nine rebounds and four steals to lead the Kean University women's basketball team to an 80-49 win over Vassar College in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament on Friday evening.

Patrick(pictured left), who hit 9-of-14 shots from the floor, also became the fourth player in school history to grab 1,000 career boards in the win for the Cougars (23-4).

For the Brewers (16-12), who were making their first appearance in the NCAA tournament, junior guard Brittany Parks had a team-high 18 points. 

Kean faces Western Connecticut State University, a 65-44 winner over Messiah College, in the second round on Saturday evening.  Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.

The Cougars scored the first seven points of the game and led 12-5 before Vassar used an 11-2 run to take their only lead of the game at 16-14 following a three-pointer by Parks with 12:10 left in the opening half.  With Kean ahead 21-18, Parks again tied the game one final time with a three-pointer, before the Cougars used a 10-0 run to open up a double-digit lead at 31-21 with 4:39 remaining.

Kean led by as many as 11 points on a free throw by sophomore Naimah Clemons en-route to taking a 36-29 lead at the break.

Clemons led the Cougars with 13 points in the opening half, while Patrick had 10 points and seven rebounds.  Parks led all scorers with 15 first-half points.

The Brewers opened the second half with a three-pointer by freshman Hannah Senftleber to trim the Kean lead to four points.  The Cougars quickly pushed the lead back out to double-digits with the game's next 13 points, taking a 49-32 lead just 5:13 into the second half.  The Cougars maintained the double-digit advantage the rest of the game, leading by as many as 32 points, as they advanced to the second round of the NCAA playoffs for the fifth straight season.

Patrick, who now has 1,290 career points and 1,007 career rebounds, added four assists.  Clemons added 17 points, three assists and two steals, while junior guard Noel Mathis (pictured right) finished with 11 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals.

For the Brewers, freshman guard Cydni Matsuoka had 11 points and Senftleber added 11 points and nine rebounds.