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October 20, 2014
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Sports

Bombers win third consecutive Empire 8 Championship

Womens Basketball vs Saint John_MC
Brian Pulling/The Ithacan

The women’s basketball team won the Empire 8 Conference Championship Tournament on March 1 with a 63–51 victory against the Stevens Institute of Technology Ducks. The win guarantees the Bombers a spot in the NCAA tournament.

Junior forward Geena Brady led the team in scoring with 15 points. She also added five rebounds and an assist. For the second consecutive game, senior guard Mary Kate Tierney had a double-double, tallying 14 points and 10 boards. Tierney also added five assists, two steals and a block.

Tierney was named the E8 Championship Tournament MVP after the game. She and teammate senior forward Jenn Escobido were elected to the All-Tournament team.

The forwards combined for 35 points, slightly more than half of the team’s total for the game. Tierney said the contribution of junior forward Francesca Cotrupe in particular was crucial to the victory.

“Post play was really important,” she said. “We were able to get the ball in the low block. [Cotrupe] would make a great move and either make it or get to the free throw line, that was huge for us. She exposed [Stevens] where they were a little weak — in the post area.”

Cotrupe scored nine points and grabbed three rebounds off the bench for the Bombers. She also converted on five of seven shots from the free throw line, well above her season average of 43 percent.

Cotrupe said she prepared for the style of play the Ducks bring to the court, and she was able to take advantage of it.

“They’re a very physical team, and we knew that going in,” she said. “Our post play was going to be huge, our rebounding was going to be important, and that’s where we executed.”

Brady and Cotrupe were successful in the paint despite being guarded by junior Avis Benjamin, Stevens’ second-team All-Empire 8 forward, who led the game in scoring with 16 points.

Head coach Dan Raymond said he thinks his team was successful against such a high caliber player because of the different play styles Brady and Cotrupe utilize.

“Geena and Fran are two different players,” he said. “They’re both post players, but they play the game differently. Geena is more of a power player, she’s going to catch the ball and play with her back to the basket. Quite often, when Fran catches the ball with her back to the basket, she’s going to face up and use her quickness to make plays. When one player is defending those two different players, they have to get used to two different techniques.”