Women’s Basketball Season Recap
By Mak Ojutiku
Last year, Kean’s women’s basketball team finished their season with a 5-18 record. It was their worst season statistically since 1999 and their first real losing season since 2004. It was also their first season under new head coach Mandy King. Going into the 2013-2014 season there might have been a bit of uncertainty in how the team was going to perform. Despite all of that, King and her team put together a pretty good season this year.
The Cougars started the year off a bit slowly, losing their first two games; to Swarthmore College and Cabrini College. They bounced back quickly though, winning the third game of the season (which also happened to be their home opener) against Baptist Bible College 86-53. Senior center Simone Smith lead the team with 23 points while Sophomore Jazmine Davis grabbed 11 rebounds.
The team turned the momentum from that big win into a four game winning streak, with all of those games being against NJAC teams. The team went 8-5 in the months of December and January.
On Feb 19 the team played their last game of the regular season. It was against Rutgers-Newark, a team that the Cougars had beaten previously in the year. The Cougars repeated their earlier success and beat the Raiders 73-64. The win lead them to the opening round of the NJAC Championship tournament where they were matched up with the Ospreys of Stockton College. Kean trounced the Ospreys, winning the game 79-53. The game was close going into halftime but the Cougars pulled away in the second half, scoring 42 points to Stocktons 15. In the semi finals, Kean found themselves faced up with top seeded Montclair State University. The Red Hawks ended Kean’s NJAC Championship hopes with a 76-62 win.
With the NJAC tournament over the Cougars moved their focus to the ECAC tournament. Smith posted 19 points in Kean’s opening round win over Lehman College. In the semi final the Cougars faced 16-13 Hunter College. The Cougars won the game 69-49, with freshman Essence Casey leading the team with 15 points.
This win put the Cougars into the championship match of the tournament. Their opponent, 22-8 Brooklyn College. The Cougars took control of the game early, starting off with a 7-0 run. Kean shot 38 percent from the field to Brooklyn Colleges’ 27. The Cougars went into halftime with a 30-18 lead and held on for a 65-35 win, giving them the ECAC Metro Championship. Smith scored 22 points and was named the tournament MVP.
This season gave the Cougars their first ECAC Metro Title and their first title since 2010. The team finished with a 18-12 overall record.