Nina Vukosavljevic produces 1,000th career point, but women's basketball edged by Pace in opener

Nina Vukosavljevic goes in for a first-quarter layup and her 1,000th career point.
Nina Vukosavljevic goes in for a first-quarter layup and her 1,000th career point.

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. — Nina Vukosavljevic achieved a career milestone on Saturday. However, the NYIT women's basketball team lost to Pace, 76-67, in the season-opening ECC/NE-10 Challenge at Recreation Hall.

Vukosavljevic, who entered the season two points shy of 1,000 for her career, reached the plateau when teammate Maia Hood produced a first-quarter steal and fed Vukosavljevic, who drove in uncontested for a layup.

Vukosavljevic, already NYIT's all-time assists leader, became the seventh documented member of the program's 1,000-point club. She joined Dina Ragab (1,565), Shanice Allen (1,230), Madison Robertson (1,136), Del Thomas (1,089), Shannon Duer (1,061) and Anette Johansen (1,054).

As for Saturday's game, coach Kenny Parham's squad had to deal with early foul trouble that disrupted his rotation.

NYIT ultimately trailed 54-47 entering the fourth quarter.

The Setters' lead then swelled to 65-49 less than four minutes into the period, although the Bears answered with a 9-0 run to contest the game down the stretch. When Vukosavljevic drained a three-pointer with 1:37 remaining, NYIT had clawed back within 68-65.

The Bears, who nearly upset Division I Rhode Island last weekend, dropped to 1-17 all time against Pace.

Vukosavljevic finished with 20 points, followed by freshman Shalie Frierson with 14 in her regular-season collegiate debut. Freshman Taylor Tripptree and Tiara Place had 10 points apiece.

Place fouled out with 6:38 remaining, while Corinn Baggs fouled out in the final minute.

The Bears do not have much time to rest. They return to action on Day 2 of the ECC/NE-10 Challenge with a 1 p.m. game on Sunday at Recreation Hall against Adelphi. NYIT defeated the Panthers in last season's opener, but Adelphi ousted NYIT in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.