Another game, another win for basketball

Michael Thompson, Deputy Sports Editor

NYU’s women’s basketball team has rarely trailed this season. However, on Saturday the Violets faced their toughest test of the season against Emmanuel College. The undefeated Violets were trailing at the half, and their unblemished record was in serious jeopardy for the first time in 2015. Spurred by an explosive start to the second half, the Violets jumped ahead, surviving a late-game rally by Emmanuel to extend their record to 7-0.

Both teams traded blows in the first half, exchanging long runs of scoring in an otherwise even game. After the Violets jumped to a 19-12 lead in the first quarter, Emmanuel stormed back, finishing the quarter with eight consecutive points to regain the lead. Emmanuel opened the second quarter with six more points before it was the Violets’ turn to answer again with an 8-0 run of their own. Emmanuel the lead again at the end of the quarter, sending the Violets to the locker room with the unusual task of playing catch-up.

The Violets returned to the court determined and focused. They stormed out of the gate, jumping ahead after going on a 10-0 run. Ahead 37-30, it was a lead the Violets would not relinquish again.

Continuing one of this season’s biggest trends, NYU looked to a balanced scoring attack, facilitated by effective defense. Senior forward Megan Dawe, who has been one of the Violets’ most reliable scoring options in their seven wins, finished with 14 points. She said that the halftime break is what allowed the team to push ahead for the win.

“We were able to switch some things up at halftime that gave us more confidence at both ends of the floor,” Dawe said.

Holding Emmanuel to just five points in the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Violets were able to extend their lead, focusing heavily on scoring from the free throw line. They shot 13-19 from the line in the second half, compared to Emmanuel’s 3-4. Led by Dawe, three Violets scored in double digits. Dawe and junior guards Kaitlyn Read and Amy Harioka combined for 39 points. Senior forward Maya Wasowicz, sophomore guard Drew Cabral and junior forward Lindsey Oldshue provided the additional scoring, tallying 17. Harioka grabbed a career-high seven rebounds, though Read was the leader with eight.

“Team play really comes naturally for everyone on the team,” Read said. “We knew we would have to get it inside, and Megan [Dawe] and Mikaela [Pyatt] are both very good posts who know how to distribute the ball when they realize they’re being doubled.”

Emmanuel continued to pester the Violets, keeping the game close and cutting the lead to one possession twice. Even though they led by 10 points with eight minutes remaining, they allowed Emmanuel to close the gap to just two with under a minute to go. However, Wasowicz sank two free throws, preserving the win.

“We know that mistakes are going to happen but by playing good team basketball hopefully we are doing enough positive things to make up for those errors,” Oldshue said.

The Violets will look to successfully finish the 2015 half of this perfect season when they play Brooklyn College on Dec. 30.

A version of this article appeared in the Dec. 7 print edition. Email Michael Thompson at [email protected].