Garden City, N.Y. — The NYIT women's basketball team's spirited late-season surge ended with an opening-round loss in the NCAA Tournament.
Host Adelphi, the top seed in the East Regional, defeated the Bears, 64-47, on Friday at the Center for Recreation and Sports.
NYIT finished its first season under coach Kenneth Parham with an 18-12 record. The Bears had earned the East Regional's eighth seed with a late-season surge that included reaching the final round of the East Coast Conference playoffs. NYIT won at Roberts Wesleyan for the first time in school history, then snapped Queens' 16-game winning streak during that run.
"I think overall our season was a huge success," Parham said. "These young ladies from Day 1 bought into the system, played extremely hard, competed every single day. Today we're not happy, but only one team at the end will win their last game."
The Bears held a one-point lead after the first quarter against Adelphi, but the Panthers retook the lead on a pair of free throws by Natalie Fekula with 5:12 remaining until halftime and led 32-23 at the break.
ECC Rookie of the Year Margaret Knollmeyer produced 17 points and 12 rebounds in the season-ending loss. Junior Nina Vukosavljevic, a first-team All-ECC selection, also had 17 points. The Bears were outrebounded, 46-24, which Parham cited after the defeat.
The loss ends the solid careers of Shanice Allen and Julie Williams, who were held to a combined 1-for-11 shooting Friday.
"They were very aggressive. They were very physical," Parham said. "We had a hard time rebounding with them, and I think that was the biggest difference of the game — rebounding. They really took it to us offensively and defensively on the boards."
Provided by the NYIT Sports Information Department.