MARCY, N.Y. - The number one seeded SUNY Poly women's basketball team earned a spot in the NEAC Championship game on Sunday with a big win over St. Elizabeth 78-50. With the win, the Wildcats will make their second consecutive appearance in the NEAC title game. The Wildcats opponent will be the Morrisville State Mustangs who beat Lancaster Bible in the second semifinal 60-50.
The Wildcats and the Eagles were tightly matched in the first quarter, with the Wildcats holding just a 15-14 lead at the close of the quarter. The Wildcats would put their foot on the gas both offensively and defensively in the second where they outscored the Eagles 18-8 to take an 11 point lead into the locker room at the half.
In the third quarter the Wildcats exploded for 32 points while holding St. Elizabeth to just 12. Kiersten Leos (Camden, N.Y.) and Paige Gallo (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) supplied the fuel for the run. The pair had 19 points in the quarter and hit four three pointers. Gallo finished with 13 points for the Cats'. The junior had a game high six steals, three rebounds, and two assists.
Leos stole the spotlight in the game. She was the Wildcats leading scorer with a career high 18 points in just 22 minutes played. The freshman shot an outstanding 66 percent from the field and nailed four of six from three-point land. Leos also added three rebounds, three assists, and two steals to her stat sheet. The game was her best offensive output of the season.
Khristaijah Jackson (Levittown, Pa.) shot better than 50 percent for a team best 19th time this season. The junior had 17 points and 12 rebounds; her 11th double-double of the season. Jackson also had a block, a steal, and two assists in the game.
Senior Shelbey Kralik (Albany, N.Y.) hit the boards hard for the Wildcats. Kralik had a season high 10 rebounds in the game, nine of which were on the offensive glass. Kralik finished the game with six points on three of seven from the field. She also had a block and three assists.
For St. Elizabeth, Danesha Triplett had a game high 19 points, eight rebounds, three steals and three blocks. Jasmine Poole had 16 points, eight rebounds, a team high five steals, and four assists.
The Wildcats and Morrisville State will square off on Sunday in a battle for the NEAC Championship. The game is scheduled for a 2:00 PM tip-off at SUNY Poly's Campus Center Gym.