Marywood Women’s Basketball February recap


Photo credit/ Jason Ardan

Sophomore Guard Olivia Cull steps up to drain the free throw.

Feb. 1: Home vs. Neumann University

The Pacers kicked off the month of February by hosting the Neumann University Knights. The first quarter was all Pacers, taking the lead on their first possession and earning a five-point edge at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, Neumann took over, totaling 21 points. Marywood’s offense fell stagnant and the Pacers trailed 32-24 at the break. Senior guard Savannah Purdy led the scoring for the Pacers with seven points.

The Pacers’ offense struggled to regain momentum in the third quarter, going nearly six minutes without a bucket. In the final quarter, sophomore guard Olivia Ciullo caught fire, scoring 21 of the 27 Pacers’ points. Despite her outburst, the lead was insurmountable, with the Pacers dropping their opening game of the month, 63-60. Ciullo led the Pacers with 27 points.

Feb. 4: Away vs. Cabrini University

Looking for their first win of the month, the Pacers hit the road. The team had an abysmal opening quarter, going scoreless for over six and a half minutes, hitting only two shots while allowing 21 points. Though the Pacers were able to hit a few more shots in the quarter, the offense was still quiet, and with the defense nonexistent, Marywood trailed 40-12 at the break. Ciullo and sophomore guard Rachel McDonald led the Pacers in scoring with four points each.

The Pacers opened the third quarter with a three-minute offensive silence. The Pacers were able to tally 12 points in the quarter, yet were still outscored. The fourth quarter was another Cabrini assault, with the Pacers getting doubled 22-11, dropping their second straight game while scoring a season-low 35 points. Ciullo led the way with 12 points in the 80-35 loss.

Feb. 8: Home vs. Gwynedd Mercy University

Looking for the offense to turn around, the Pacers hosted the Griffins of Gwynedd Mercy University. Both offenses came out firing, with both teams shooting over 52%. The Griffins took a narrow lead into the quarter break. The offensive barrage continued in the second quarter, as both teams scored over 20 points. The Pacers trailing 50-47 going into the halftime break as Ciullo dropped 18 points to set the pace.

The Pacers offense began the third quarter in an offensive lull, going over four minutes before adding points on the board. Though the Pacers were silent, the Griffins continued the offensive onslaught, putting up their third straight quarter of over 20 points. The Pacers offense regained momentum, but there was too much damage done. The Pacers allowed a season-high 90 points in losing their third straight game 90-71. Ciullo tallied a double-double, with 28 points and 10 rebounds.

Feb. 11: Home vs. Marymount University

The Pacers hosted the Marymount Saints for their final home game of the season. The team’s offensive woes continued, scoring three points through the first eight-plus minutes, all on free throws, before Purdy hit a layup to tally the first basket. The Pacers defense was very lax in the first quarter, allowing 21 points. The Pacers offense added a few more baskets in the second quarter, yet still went into the break, down 36-17. Purdy led the way with five points.

The Pacers tallied a pair of baskets within the first three minutes of the third quarter. They failed to convert another basket in the quarter, scoring only three more points, all on free throws by Ciullo. The Pacers defense limited the Saints to only one basket in the final quarter. However, the lead was too large to overcome, and the Pacers remained winless for the month, 53-36. Ciullo was the leading scorer with 12 points.

Feb. 15: Away vs. Immaculata University

The Pacers ended their regular season with a trip to Immaculata University. The Pacers’ offense and defense started out better than their previous game, converting their shots at a good rate, while limiting the Mighty Macs to six points. The Pacers’ second quarter featured three-minute spans, with three separate runs of scoreless basketball. Despite the struggles, Marywood took a 20-19 lead into the break. McDonald and Ciullo led the scoring for Marywood with six points each.

The second half saw the demise of the Pacers’ defense, as it allowed 23 points in each of the final two quarters. In the third quarter, the Pacers managed 10 points. In the final quarter, Marywood’s offense caught fire, totaling 23 points. Yet, the damage was already done, as the Pacers dropped their last regular season game, 65-53. McDonald led the Pacers’ offense with 16 points.

Feb. 20: Atlantic East Conference Playoffs: #6 Marywood University vs. #3 Cabrini University

The Pacers snagged the final Atlantic East playoff spot, facing Cabrini in the opening round. Cabrini and Marywood went tit-for-tat in the first quarter, ending the period deadlocked at 15. Similar to the first quarter, the second saw both teams trade baskets, with Cabrini taking a tight 32-27 lead into the break. Senior guard Jade Rolon led the way with seven points in the half.

Similar to the matchup with Immaculata, the defense disappeared in the second half, allowing over 20 points in each of the final two quarters. The Pacers had a solid scoring outburst in the third quarter, converting a trifecta of three pointers and totaling 17 points. The final quarter saw a pair of three-plus minute offensive silences. The Pacers season ended at the hands of the Cavaliers, 80-58. Sophomore forward Stephanie Klemick and Purdy both contributed 12 points in the effort, with Purdy grabbing 13 rebounds.

The Pacers ended the season 12-13, going winless in six efforts in the month. Ciullo led the Pacers’ in scoring and rebounding this season, averaging 17.9 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game. Rolon was the Pacers’ leading assister, averaging 3.5 assists per game.

Coach Jen Carleton had her best season as head coach, despite losing a pair of players to injuries this season. Carleton will lose Purdy and Rolon and will hope the returning players will fill the holes left in the lineup by the pair of seniors.

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