By John Boccacino/Director of Sports Information
The senior student-athletes on the Keuka College women's basketball have guided the program to unprecedented heights, winning 73 games and leading the Storm to two North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) championships and the first back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in school history.
So it's no surprise that the senior quartet combined to score 56 points with 25 rebounds and 16 assists in Sunday's 103-42 win over Wilson College inside the Weed Physical Arts Center.
Senior Danielle Gravel (Sidney, NY/Sidney) scored 20 points with 5 assists, 3 steals and 3 rebounds and senior Casey Chamberlain (Perry, NY/Perry) added 16 points and 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the year to power the Storm (11-8, 10-4 NEAC), who shot a season-best 51.2 percent (42 of 82) and handed out a season-most 28 assists in the win.
Senior Taylor Szwec (Candor, NY/Candor) scored 14 points with a career-high 8 assists and 5 rebounds while classmate Brittany Sinnott (Mount Kisco, NY/Fox Lane) added six points with six rebounds for Keuka, which scored the most points in a game since a 102-98 triumph over SUNYIT Jan. 26, 2013.
"It was sad because I've played with these girls for four years and they're more than just my teammates, they're my family," Chamberlain said of the emotions of Senior Day. "I love them and I thank them for everything. It feels great to get a win on Senior Day, especially scoring over 100 points. Our passing was great and we played really well together."
Szwec shot 71.4 percent (5 of 7), Chamberlain shot 66.7 percent (8 of 12), Gravel shot 63.6 percent (7 of 11) and Sinnott was 50 percent (3 of 6) as all four of Keuka's seniors who played shot at least 50 percent from the field.
"It was exciting but sad, having today be Senior Day," Szwec said. "I remember our first practice together, it feels like it was yesterday, but it was exciting and I'm glad we got the win. I'm very proud of what we've been able to accomplish. We've had so many ups and downs, and the obstacles that we've been able to overcome, I'm so proud of us."
Junior Amanda Kubitz (Spencerport, NY/E.J. Wilson) scored a season-high 12 points on 55.6 percent shooting (5 of 9), freshman Katie Stuart (Tupper Lake, NY/Tupper Lake) added 10 points with seven rebounds and junior Erica Pendrak (New Hartford, NY/New York Mills) added 6 points with 5 assists and 2 steals for the Storm.
Junior Brittany Hadley (Jasper, NY/Jasper-Troupsburg) scored seven points as 13 different student-athletes scored in the win.
"To win today means a lot. I've played more this year than I have all three years before and it feels nice to be able to contribute and know that I'm doing something good for the team," Sinnott said. "Even if I'm not the one scoring, I know that I'm helping out any way I can."
Freshman Chinyere Ukwu (Roosevelt, NY/St. Dominic) snared eight rebounds and sophomore Victoria Davis (Livingston Manor, NY/Livingston Manor) added a career-high seven rebounds as Keuka enjoyed a 64-20 rebounding edge, including 23-7 on the offensive glass.
Before the game, Chamberlain, Gravel, Sinnott, Szwec and Jessica Bandrowski (Center Moriches, NY/Center Moriches) were honored on the court for their contributions to the women's basketball team.
During their careers, the Storm have gone 73-22, including winning 59 of 70 in the NEAC, and led Keuka to two NEAC postseason titles and two NCAA tournament appearances.
"Playing with them for four years has been great," said Bandrowski, a two-time, first-team All-NEAC guard who did not play in the game due to a concussion.
"It's sad it has to end and it's definitely emotional. We're all so close with each other, especially the seniors. Since my freshman year, all of us have been best friends and I can't imagine not having them as my teammates."
Bandrowski, who became the 11th student-athlete to score 1,000 points, currently ranks in Keuka's top-10 in several categories: points (6th with 1,117), steals (2nd with 264), assists (4th with 322), made three-pointers (3rd with 136), made field goals (6th with 405) and field goal percentage (5th at 41.5%).
Gravel, who became the 12th student-athlete with 1,000 career points, currently sits in seventh place in points with 1,086. She made four '3s' in the win over Wilson and needs one more '3' to match Brittany Schrock's (2007-11) school record of 174 made '3s'.
Keuka trailed 2-0 early on, but went on a 9-0 run as Szwec, Chamberlain, Stuart and Pendrak all hit layups during the run.
Wilson pulled within 15-8 on a '3' from Teniera Prioleau with 12:30 remaining in the first, but the Green and Gold answered with a 12-0 run. Pendrak and Stuart each made layups, Gravel knocked down a jumper, Szwec scored four points and Chamberlain hit a layup as Keuka took a 27-8 lead with 8:31 remaining.
Leading 27-10, Gravel scored five straight points to spark the Storm on a 9-0 run as the Green and Gold led 36-10 on a layup from Szwec with 6:46 to play.
Gravel finished with 12 first-half points, Stuart added 10 points and six rebounds, Szwec had eight points with three assists, Chamberlain had nine rebounds and six points and Pendrak contributed six points with five assists as Keuka took a 54-15 lead into halftime and cruised to the win.
The Green and Gold host Cazenovia College at 8 p.m. Wednesday night on Senior Night before ending the year with a 3 p.m. game at NEAC rival Wells College on Feb. 22.
Gravel said knowing this is the last year the seniors will all be teammates is motivating the members of the women's basketball team to make a deep run in the NEAC tournament.
"I'm scared of how all of us won't be together next year, we've all been together for so long," said Gravel, a two-time, first-team All-NEAC guard.
"But today was exciting and it was great to have fun, work together and get the win. We don't want this to end, we all want to go to NCAA's again."
The game will be broadcast live at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/keuka-college-athletics and will feature play-by-play and color commentary from John Boccacino, Keuka's Director of Sports Information, and Doug Lippincott, Keuka's Executive Director of Communications.