Pearl River’s Amanda DeCourcey scored six of her team’s last eight points to hold off a surging Albertus Magnus as the Pirates beat the Faclons, 60-54, Wednesday at Albertus.
The senior scored a team-high 19 points for the Pirates (6-1), who led by 13 at the half and held on for the win.
“Amanda has been such a spark plug, whether it’s offensively or defensively,” said Pearl River Head Coach Lorraine Moylan. “She came up with some big defensive plays tonight also. But she always seems to know what we need and she knew we needed her to step up and she did.”
DeCourcey did more of her scoring in the paint, driving to the basket, either leading to a field goal or drawing a foul and getting to the line. She made seven of 10 from the free throw line Wednesday.
“A couple of times we ran a play to open it up so I could drive to the basket, but we knew there were a few holes in the defense so we just tried to hit those,” DeCourcey said. “With everybody cutting it creates a lot of openings for me to drive through.”
If it wasn’t DeCourcey scoring for Pearl River, it was most likely Jenna Scanlon, who was the only other Pirate in double figures. The freshman guard made her third start of the season on Wednesday and scored a career-high 16 points, nine of which came on three three-pointers.
“I’m looking to spread the floor and if Amanda can’t get to the bucket, she’ll pitch it out and maybe hit a big shot,” Scanlon said.
In the game’s final four minutes, Scanlon was the only other Pirate to score besides DeCourcey. With a bit less than three minutes to go, the Falcons (6-5) cut the deficit to five on two free throws by senior Maeve Parahus. On the ensuing Pearl River possession, Scanlon hit a long two, with her feet just on the three-point line.
“She started real nice and then she hit a big [two] in the fourth quarter to help us extend the lead a little bit and she’s just been playing super,” Moylan said of her freshman starter.
Right before the Scanlon two-pointer, junior guard Sam Alicandri got to the hoop and missed a shot, but secured her own rebound to extend the possession. The rebounding was something that plagued Albertus much of the game, especially as Pearl River built up its big first-half lead.
“We rebounded the ball better in the second half,” said Albertus Head Coach Pat Buckley. “We didn’t play well in the first half. They got a lot of second shots and they made them.”
Another problem early for Albertus was turnovers. In the first quarter alone, the Pirates scored 13 points off six turnovers.
“That’s normally our game plan,” DeCourcey said. “With our press we try to be really quick and force a lot of turnovers, so that normally gets us a lot of momentum in the beginning and we just try to build off that for the rest of the game.”
Still, the Falcons did make a comeback, out-scoring the Pirates 21-11 in the third quarter. The scoring in the third, the only quarter where the Falcons didn’t score exactly 11 points, came from Parahus, Ryan Doherty and Madison McGrath. Doherty led the way with eight points in the third, followed by McGrath’s seven and Parahus’s four.
Doherty and Parahus both scored 19 to lead Albertus and McGrath was the only other Falcon in double figures with 10. It was the first game back for Parahus, who injured her right ankle last week and missed two games. Buckley said he thought Parahus played well and he didn’t see the ankle really affecting her play.
“She wants to play,” he said. “She’s a senior and this is her year, and she wants to make it happen.”