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Double the Pleasure: BC Women Stay Unbeaten in CUNYAC During Night of Milestones

By John Torenli

Brooklyn Eagle

Brooklyn College women’s basketball coach Alex Lang couldn’t have been prouder of his two senior leaders Wednesday night.

Bulldogs co-captains Lauren “Gracie” Plagianos and Justine O’Callahan both surpassed the 1,000-point milestone as BC remained unbeaten in CUNYAC play and extended its season-high winning streak to eight games with a dominating 69-28 triumph over borough rival Medgar Evers at the Cougars Cave.

“I am so proud of Justine and Gracie,” gushed Lang.  “They are both seniors who have worked extremely hard and are supported by and are supportive of their teammates every day in practice.  Their accomplishments are well-deserved.”

The Bulldogs (16-5 overall, 9-0 CUNYAC) ran out to an early 10-0 lead and never looked back en route to their seventh triumph in 10 road contests this season.Brooklyn College senior Lauren Plagianos also hit the 1,000 point mark. Photo by Damion Reid.

Plagianos, who transferred to BC after beginning her playing career upstate at Mohawk Valley Community College, broke the 1,000-mark first on a 3-pointer with 8:39 remaining in the opening half.  

The 5-foot-5 guard finished with a game-high 20 points in only 12 minutes, hitting a dazzling 6-of-7 shots from beyond the arc.

O’Callahan became just the fourth player to reach 1,000 solely as a Bulldog by making a layup with 12:01 to play. The 5-foot-11 power forward collected 13 points and six rebounds as BC remained unbeaten since suffering a 65-40 non-league loss at Rutgers-Camden on Jan. 9.

After enduring a heartbreaking 80-73 loss to Lehman in last year’s CUNYAC Tournament, the Bulldogs are determined to grab a spot in the Division III NCAA Tournament this time around.

With Plagianos and O’Callahan leading the way, it’s hard to imagine anyone stopping them from achieving that goal.

BC will return to non-conference action Saturday afternoon at the West Quad Center, hosting Richard Stockton College for a 1 p.m. tip-off.


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NYU-Poly junior Shelby Bruns had 18 points and 17 rebounds against Yeshiva at Jacobs Gymnasium on Tuesday.

The Lady Jays of NYU-Polytechnic used a balanced attack to roll over visiting Yeshiva, 78-30, at Downtown’s Jacobs Gymnasium on Tuesday.

Freshman Catherine Thompson scored 25 points, junior Shelby Bruns added 18 points and 17 rebounds and senior Margaux Pickell and sophomore Tabitha Larsen added 14 for the Jays, who improved to 8-12 overall.

NYU-Poly will be back on its home court Saturday at noon against Purchase as part of the school’s Fandemonium 2012 festivities.



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The Brooklyn College men completed a season sweep of the defending CUNYAC champions with an impressive 87-77 road victory over Medgar Evers on Wednesday.

The Bulldogs, who also bested the Cougars 84-79 at the West Quad Center on Nov. 29, improved to 13-7 overall and 6-3 in CUNYAC action.


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Senior guard Amil John, a product of South Shore High School, scored a game-high 31 points, hitting 12-of-20 from the field.  John also handed out six assists and collected seven steals as BC rebounded from last weekend’s 80-72 loss to William Paterson with its third victory in four games.


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Senior guard Wade Kornegay netted a career-high 18 points by drilling 6-of-7 3-pointers for the Bulldogs, who will take on Richard Stockton College after the women’s game on Saturday.


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Brooklyn native Brendon Henry scored a game-high 26 points and led a furious late rally by NYU-Poly on Tuesday night, but the Jays ultimately fell short in a 63-57 setback to Yeshiva.

Henry, a junior, scored 15 of the last 17 points for Poly, which nearly erased a 15-point deficit before suffering its 12th loss in 13 Skyline games, falling to 1-17 overall.

The Jays will host Stockton at 3 p.m. Saturday.

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Believe it or not, college baseball season is barely two weeks away.Blackbirds junior closer Evan Zerff is already the Downtown school’s all-time leader in saves.

LIU-Brooklyn junior Evan Zerff, who set the Downtown program’s single-season and all-time saves record last year, earned a coveted spot on the initial watch list for the eighth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award this week.

The honor is bestowed at the end of the season to the top relief pitcher in all of NCAA Division I baseball.

Zerff, one of 45 pitchers across the nation on the list, helped LIU to one of its most impressive seasons, striking out 27 in 27 1/3 innings en route to capturing 13 saves, which boosted his career total as a Blackbird to 15.

The Canadian import is 6-6 with a 4.23 ERA during his two-year career at LIU.

The Blackbirds will open the 2012 campaign on Friday, Feb. 17 with the first of a three-game series at the University of Central Florida. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.


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The 20th-ranked women’s bowling team from St. Francis College got a surprise visit from one of the sport’s greatest this week as USBC Hall of Famer Johnny Petraglia visited the Terriers at Strike 10 Lanes in Brooklyn.

Petraglia, a Brooklyn native, watched the Terriers practice before imparting some wisdom from a career that has seen him win 14 Professional Bowlers Association titles and six Senior PBA crowns.

Needless to say, the Terriers were honored and thrilled to hear Petraglia call them “the future of the sport.”

“It was an amazing experience to see a man who has excelled in this sport,” said St. Francis senior Marissa Padovano.  “To take time out of his day and just talk to us meant a lot to me and my teammates.”

The stop and chat should inspire the Terriers this weekend as they visit Altoona, Pa., for the Northeast Conference championships.


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Over at LIU-Brooklyn, Brittany Hart earned her second Northeast Conference women’s bowling Rookie of the Week award in a row this week after helping the Blackbirds to a ninth-place finish at last weekend’s Kutztown Invitational.

Posting the highest overall frame average (19.78) by an NEC rookie at the 28-team event, Hart was a key reason why LIU the Blackbirds finished in the top half of the team standings at what was the most-attended competition of the NCAA season.

The Blackbirds compiled a 10-5 win-loss record as Hart filled 127 of 147 (.871) frames throughout the course of the three-day event. Hart cashed in on nearly 50 percent of her strike opportunities, throwing a team-high 98 strikes in 198 attempts (.494).

Hart, only the second bowler since the program’s inception in 2008 to be honored by the conference, was especially effective on the tournament’s opening day, which consisted of six four-game baker matches. She averaged 20.2 pins per frame as LIU opened the tournament with six consecutive victories.

Hart was also a key contributor in a pair of traditional team game wins over NTCA Top 20 programs. After helping the Blackbirds to a four-pin win over No. 18 Wisconsin-Whitewater, she posted a 211-pin performance in a 970-884 triumph over No. 12 Delaware State.

LIU will also be competing at this weekend’s NEC Championships.

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The St. Francis College women’s swimming and diving team defeated Queens College, 118-82, on Monday evening for its first win of the season.

The Terriers took nine of the 12 events to secure the overall win.  Senior Andrea Dolnay was three-time winner, taking first place in the 200-yard freestyle (2:12.97) and 500-yard freestyle (5:50.23) as well as finishing up the anchor leg on the winning 400-yard medley relay squad.

St. Francis will back in the pool Feb. 8 at Fordham.

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The St. Francis men’s swimming and diving team also defeated Queens College, 117-82, on Monday evening for their third win of the campaign.

Freshman Gareth Livingstone broke two school records, one as the lead swimmer in the 400-yard medley relay and the other in the 100-meter backstroke.  He broke a nine-year old school record (55.62) by clocking in at 55.10 in the latter event.

The men will also be at Fordham on Feb. 8.

February 3, 2012 - 12:27pm


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