Dominican College missed two shots in the final 20 seconds on the way to a 59-57 loss at home against Southern Connecticut State Monday at the Hennessy Center in Orangeburg.
Lindsey Lopez missed from three-point range, then K.C. Jenzen's baseline jumper would not fall for the Chargers with 13 seconds remaining.
Owls guard Mariah Hankton made one of two free throws, with teammate Jackie Beathea missing after an offensive rebound, but Dominican could manage to get a last shot off.
"They are an aggressive team," Dominican Head Coach Bill Diener said, "That's why you play these non-conference games. We've got to learn how to handle it. It's all about taking care of the basketball. We've got to learn about possessions. You can't take posessions off. We lost by two. That goes back to a posession we took off, an easy shot or not blocking out. Easy stuff."
Beathea, one of six freshmen playing for the Owls, led Southern Connectict State (4-5) with 16 points and eight rebounds. Camille Fantini added 12, making a pair of 3-point shots to give the Owls their biggest lead of the game, 47-40, with 14:07 remaining in the game.
Dominican (6-5) responded with a 13-2 run to take a 53-49 lead with 6:23 remaining. Jentzen, a Nanuet High School graduate from Pearl River, capped the run with consecutive layups. She finished with a game-high 17 points for the Chargers.
"We had a couple of breakdowns defensively, missing rotations inside, but we didn't let it dictate how the game was going to go," Owls Head Coach Meghan Brown said. "We're a young time. Sometimes the tone gets set when we miss one thing or two things. Today, they really fought and maintained a level of focus and down the stretch they listened."
Point guard Nicole Grossbard, a freshman from Pearl River, said the victory showed a difference in the team's maturity from even the beginning of the season.
"I thought we really did a great job not letting it get to us," said Grossbard, who scored six points. "If this came at the beginning of the season, it wouldn't have gone the way it did. We've grown tremendously."
Southern Connecticut gave up only four points the rest of the game, finally taking the lead to stay on forward Moni Smith-Ocran's layup with 1:33 remaining.
"At times, their kids looked more aggressive and made things happen," Diener said. "We looked a little passive."
Jentzen led three Dominican players scoring in double figures. Bianca Harris added 13 and Lindsey Lopez contributed 12. The Chargers finished with a 37-32 rebounding edge, but did not take care of the ball as well as the Owls. Dominican turned it over 20 times to only 14 for Southern Connecticut.