UNION, N.J. (1/8/14) – Junior AnnaRose Pierre netted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the Kean University women's basketball team's wild Wednesday night affair with William Paterson University, won 66-60 by the Pioneers. Both clubs are now 6-7 overall and 3-3 in the NJAC.
Pierre asserted herself early; she took the opening tipoff in for a layup, had an impressive block on the Pioneer's first possession and stole the ball on their second. But WPU overcame the slow start and scored the next nine points to grab the early advantage. Ashley Marfo, Dana Jeter and Brittany Harden led the way for Paterson in the opening minutes, and the visitors led 19-6 by the time Kean stopped play with its first timeout.
Kean's Aysha Harris and Sharell Lowe injected some life into the Harwood Arena crowd with back-to-back three-point plays; Harris hit a three-point shot from the top of the key and Lowe converted an and-1 opportunity to trim WPU's advantage to 22-15. Jaquetta Owens followed with a coast-to-coast layup and Harris hit another shot from downtown to cap a 14-2 run for the Cougars and get them within two.
With three minutes remaining in the first half, Simone Smith and Pierre got consecutive fast-break layups that completed the Kean comeback and put the Cougars ahead for the first time since 19:43 showed on the clock. Owens and Shay Collins kept the Kean run going with a pair of field goals.
The first half ended with William Paterson up by one; 33-32. The Pioneers led by as much as 14 early on, so the Cougars certainly had the edge in play over the closing minutes.
On Kean's opening possessions of the second period, Davis was able to feed Smith (pictured left) for a pair of layups that both flipped the lead to Kean; but the advantage continued to see-saw between the two sides. Smith ended with13 second-half points for the Cougars.
With 13:30 on the clock, Paterson's Kristine Jackiewicz hit a three-pointer that tied the contest at 42 and –after a go-ahead layup by Davis – Jackiewicz hit a layup of her own to tie the proceedings again and then knocked down a go-ahead three-pointer.
With 10 minutes to go, Collins cut the Pioneer lead in half as she broke down her defender, made the layup and hit the ensuing foul shot as well. The score was 50-47 midway through the second half.
With Kean trailing by one with less than six minutes to go, Davis had a big offensive board and a put-back to put Kean ahead 53-52. The lead swung back the other way to Paterson, until Smith scored on a second-chance opportunity that tied the game with four minutes to go.
On the next possession, Davis stole the ball and took the ball 75 feet for the go-ahead bucket at 3:26. But WPU scored the next seven points, including a traditional three-point play by Floriana Borova with one minute remaining. Pierre hit a field goal in the final minute, but the Pioneers stayed ahead the rest of the way and hung on to win 66-60.
The hair-raising game featured six ties and 15 lead changes. Smith led Kean with 15 points, while Pierre had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Cougars. Hardin led the way for WPU with 13 points.
Kean will travel to Rutgers-Camden on Saturday for an intra-conference matchup with the Scarlet Raptors.