NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Led by Tournament MVP and Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year Dannie Griffin (Paramus, N.J.), top-seeded Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (12-8, 5-1) rallied to defeat No. 2 seed College of New Rochelle (12-10, 5-1), 70-58, on Sunday afternoon at the CNR Wellness Center to capture the 2017 Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball title.
Griffin recorded a double-double in the championship with game highs of 25 points and 15 rebounds and shot 11-of-18 from the field to help the Panthers reverse a 10-point first-half deficit to win their fourth title in program history. The junior center also posted 25 points and 14 rebounds in the Panthers semifinal win over No. 4 Berkeley College as the Panthers needed overtime to avoid an upset after falling behind by 12 in the first half.
The title game—a rematch of last year's finale—saw tournament hosts New Rochelle score the first nine points of the contest and led by as many as 10 on multiple occasions before taking a 28-22 lead into the lockers. Griffin led the way in the half scoring 13 of the Panthers' 22 points.
But a four-minute scoring drought for the Blue Angels spanning the third and fourth quarters would allow the Panthers to score 21 straight points to take a 16-point lead, 49-33, with 7:50 to play—a gap too large to overcome. CNR’s Dar’Neisha Brice had eight quick points to pull her squad within seven with three minutes to go and excite the home crowd, but the Panthers maintained their separation at the free throw line pushing their lead back to double digits.
The Panthers scored 48 in the second half, including a 32-point outburst in the fourth quarter. Additionally, all five Albany Pharmacy starters played every single minute of the tournament, including an extra five-minute overtime in the semifinals.
Sophomore guard Aaliyah Fields (Hollywood, Md.) posted 13 points to lead New Rochelle in defeat and freshman forward Ashley Martin (Richmond Hill, N.Y.) added a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double.
With the victory, Albany Pharmacy claims the league's automatic bid to the upcoming USCAA National Championships from February 28-March 4 in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. The Panthers, who were ranked 14th in the last USCAA Coaches’ poll, will await their seed and first-round matchup as the full eight-team field will be announced on Tuesday, February 21st at 5 p.m. on www.theuscaa.com.
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2017 HVIAC Women's Basketball Championships
Saturday, February 18
at The College of New Rochelle
Sunday, February 21
at The College of New Rochelle
#1 Albany Pharmacy def. #2 New Rochelle, 70-58
Tournament & Regular Season Champions
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
The College of New Rochelle
Dannie Griffin - Albany Pharmacy
- 2016: Albany Pharmacy
- 2015: St. Joseph's
- 2014: New Rochelle
- 2013: St. Joseph's
- 2012: Albany Pharmacy
- 2011: Albany Pharmacy
- 2010: St. Joseph's
- 2009: St. Elizabeth's
- 2008: Mount Saint Vincent
- 2007: Mount Saint Vincent
- 2006: St. Joseph's
- 2005: Mount Saint Vincent
- 2004: Purchase