It was a tale of two halves as the Manhattanville women's basketball team struggled through the first half, but came back in the second half to outscore NYU by 15 points as the Valiants defeated the Violets on Wednesday evening by the score of 64-59. Manhattanville was led by senior guard Taylor Wilson (Pearl River, N.Y./Pearl River) with a career-best 28 points including 20 second half points.
The Valiants started out of the gate slow as the Violets opened up a 13-2 lead on the Manhattanville, capped off by a three-pointer from Riley Wurtz of NYU. The Violets extended its lead to 14 at the 10:51 mark of the first half when Nicole Lem hit a jumper to give NYU a 19-5 edge.
Manhattanville began the uphill battle started off by a layup from freshman Ashley Franklin (New Haven, Conn./Hill Regional Career), followed by a jumper from sophomore center Alyson Caiazzo (Brooklyn, N.Y/St. Saviour). Sophomore Shayna Robinson (Deer Park, N.Y./Deer Park) got in on the act, as did Wilson to finish off Manhattanville's eight-point run and close the lead back down to 20-15 with 6:50 remaining in the opening half.
NYU regained a double-digit lead with an 11-4 run and slowed down Manhattanville's surge once again. Both teams exchanged a few more baskets as the Violets took a 10-point lead into the locker room with a 33-23 lead in its back pocket.
As the second half began so did the Valiant offense once again, the Valiants answered with a 14-2 scurry to start off the half, including a layup by Wilson to tie the game at 35 apiece. After a Rachel Crittenden layup stopped the run by Manhattanville, the Valiants continued to put up the points and go shot-for-shot with the Violets.
Manhattanville picked up its largest lead of the game at five points when Robinson hit a layup with 10:05 to go in the half to put the home team up by a 46-41 score. The Violets refused to go away as they closed the gap back within one a few more times as the minutes rolled along, and then tied the game at 53 with 4:05 to go in regulation.
After a couple of turnovers and missed shots from both teams, sophomore Bri Pabon (Newington, Conn./Newington) ended the drought with a layup, followed by a pair of free throws from Caiazzo and one more from Pabon to reinstate Manhattanville's five-point lead. After Lem hit a layup with 10 seconds left to pull NYU back within three, the Violets sent Wilson back to the line as she dropped both shots from the free throw line to ice the game and give Manhattanville a 64-59 victory.
Aside from Wilson's 28 points, the Valiants got a dozen points from Robinson as the only other home player to finish in double-figures. The only player with double-figures in rebounds for Manhattanville was Caiazzo, who finished the game with 14 and falling one point shy of her seventh double-double to start the season.
As a team Manhattanville shot 36.4% from the floor, including a 41.7% in the second half. Beyond the arc Manhattanville was 3-for-8 including a 3-for-5 night from Wilson from downtown. Wilson also led the Valiants in free throws with nine, as the team went 21-for-30 from the charity stripe as a team.
Manhattanville (4-3, 0-2 Freedom) will play its next three contests away from Kennedy Gym as they wrap up the 2012 calendar year. The first contest takes place on December 15 at New Jersey City University at 2:00 p.m. NYU (4-3, 0-0 UAA) will look to stop its two-game losing streak on Saturday when the Violets head to Staten Island to take on the Dolphins at 3:00 p.m.