It’s been an upward climb for NYIT lately. The Bears improved to 15-0 (7-0 ECC) after a 74-62 win over rival LIU Post on Saturday.
Four years ago, the Bears won just four games. Now the team is one win away from tying its program-record of 16 wins set last season. Last year was also the first time the NYIT women have ever had a winning season, finishing the year with a 16-13 record.
NYIT coach Anthony Crocitto credited his senior crew of Rebecca Lynch (12.5 ppg), Nikki Jo Rotolo (13.3 ppg), Charlene Riddick (12.6 ppg), Chantel Diaz (6.5 ppg, 3.1 reb), Sabrinna Moore (3.2 ppg, 2.6 reb) and Ana Komnenovic for their hard work.
It’s not just about the seniors, though. NYIT has several juniors and underclassmen who have stepped up, including Rebecca Romeo (7.7 ppg, 4.3 reb), Alex Venuto (7 ppg, 4.3 reb) and Dina Ragab (6.7 ppg, 3.1 reb). Apergis Demitra (6.6 ppg) has also been a factor for the Bears.
With so much depth, you never know who will step up on a given night. Against LIU Post it was Lynch, who scored 11 of her game-high 20 points over the last 5:42.
Riddick, NYIT’s second leading scorer had just four points on 1-or-10 shooting. Rotolo only shot 3-for-10, but it didn’t matter with Lynch on fire and Demitra (16 points) playing big roles. Romeo had 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting in the win.
The Bears’ success hasn’t come easy and Crocitto acknowledged it following the team’s win over LIU Post. “We’ll enjoy this for the rest of the night and move on,” said Crocitto. “We have a big game against Dowling on Wednesday.”
Dowling (13-2, 7-0 ECC) has won eight straight and has its eye on the ECC championship just like NYIT does. “We’re only halfway through it,” said Crocitto. “But this is a team that takes it one game at a time.”
Dowling is led by former Baylor and St. John's the Baptist grad Danielle Wilson (16.9 ppg, 10.2 reb) and Connie Simmons (9.8 ppg, 5.7 reb, 3.3 assists).