Women's hoops honors seniors, then edged by Roberts Wesleyan

Seniors Shanice Allen, Julie Williams and Shannon Duer were honored on Senior Day on Saturday at Recreation Hall.
Seniors Shanice Allen, Julie Williams and Shannon Duer were honored on Senior Day on Saturday at Recreation Hall.

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. — The NYIT women's basketball team honored three seniors Saturday afternoon. The Bears then had a four-game winning streak snapped, although they remain in strong position for an East Coast Conference playoff berth.

Despite 23 points from Margaret Knollmeyer and 19 points from Nina Vukosavljevic, Roberts Wesleyan edged NYIT, 88-85, on Senior Day at Recreation Hall.

The Bears fell to 15-10 overall and 9-8 in league play entering their regular-season finale next Saturday against Mercy at Westchester Community College. NYIT currently sits in fifth place in the ECC, with the top six teams in the standings qualifying.

During a Senior Day ceremony, athletic director Duane Bailey presented Shanice Allen, Julie Williams and Shannon Duer with plaques commemorating their contributions to the program. The class has compiled a four-year record of 79-40 and last year won the first two NCAA Tournament games in program history.

During the ceremony, Duer also received the basketball from her 1,000th point, which she scored against Felician on Nov. 20. Her season ended two weeks later with a left knee injury.

A three-year member of the team after transferring from Pace, Allen also became a member of the 1,000-point club this season.

Allen will graduate in May with a degree in health sciences. Williams graduated last year with a degree in life science. She is now working on her doctorate in physical therapy. Duer, who led all of NCAA Division II in double-doubles last season with 20, will graduate in May with a degree in communication arts.

Trailing by as many as 11 points in the third quarter, the Bears retook the lead, 70-69, on Knollmeyer's layup with 8:45 remaining in the game on Saturday. However, a last-second three-point bid by Williams went awry and NYIT could not force a third straight overtime game.

"There's definitely a lot of emotions," Williams said. "My parents were going crazy getting everything ready, and a lot of people came that I wasn't expecting to come. My heart felt very full in the beginning of the game. I just wish we could have won."

Said Allen: "Some people were emotional. It is — or could be one of — our last home games. So we wanted to give it all we've got. Unfortunately we came up short. But we still have high hopes for the playoffs."