Ward Tallies 17 Points, 24 Rebounds in First Round Win Over #6 St. Joe's-Brooklyn

Senior guard Kaelyn Ward dribbling slowly out of the defensive zone.
Kaelyn Ward

#3 Farmingdale State - 68, #6 St. Joseph's-Brooklyn - 46

Farmingdale, N.Y. - Farmingdale State senior guard Kaelyn Ward (East Hampton, N.Y.) recorded 17 points and a career-high 24 rebounds in the Rams 68-46 First Round victory over #6 St. Joseph's-Brooklyn this evening. With the win, the third seeded Rams advance to the Semifinals of the Skyline Conference Women's Basketball Championship. 

The Rams (15-11) jumped out to a 10-2 advantage only 4:47 into the game on a pair of free-throws by junior guard Alexis Antonacci (Plainview, N.Y.) and eight points from Ward. The Bears (11-15) would respond as they closed the quarter on a 13-2 run to take a three-point lead into the second.

Trailing 19-17 with 6:14 left in the half, Antonacci knocked down a 3-pointer to put Farmingdale State ahead by one. St. Joe's-Brooklyn answered by scoring the next eight points, including a pair of 3's by freshman guard Kelly O'Donnell (Brooklyn, N.Y.), to go ahead 27-20.

FSC outscored the Bears 10-2 over the final 3:51 of the second quarter and took a 30-29 lead into the break. Ward totaled 12 points and 10 rebounds in the first half.

The Rams opened the second half with a 9-0 run to go in front 39-29. During the run, Ward and senior forward Essence Casey (Huntington Station, N.Y.) produced four points each.

Leading 44-32 with three minutes left in the third quarter, a Casey layup and a 3 by junior guard Selena LaFranca (Smithtown, N.Y.) gave FSC a commanding 17-point advantage at 49-32.

The Bears trailed 51-34 at the inception of the fourth quarter and used a 7-3 run to cut the deficit to thirteen with 4:08 remaining. The Rams would outscore St. Joe's-Brooklyn 14-5 down the stretch as they earned the First Round victory, 68-46.

Ward's 24 rebounds was the second most in school history as she was only two shy of the record set by FSC Hall of Famer Kimberly Blakney in 2010. Antonacci finished with a game-high 19 points, while Casey and senior guard Liz Durchhalter (Franklin Square, N.Y.) pulled down nine boards apiece in the win.

SJC-BK was led by junior guard Victoria Porcasi (Franklin Square, N.Y.) who tallied a team-high 16 points and two steals, while senior forward Taylor Raccuglia (Brooklyn, N.Y.) recorded a game-high six blocks to go along with 10 rebounds.

Farmingdale State will now head to #2 Old Westbury for the Semifinals on Thursday, February 22nd at 7:00 p.m.