ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. — The NYIT women's basketball team is headed back to the East Coast Conference tournament for a seventh straight season.
The Bears clinched a spot in the six-team tourney with a 57-43 win at Molloy on Saturday, coupled with Bridgeport's loss against St. Thomas Aquinas.
Maia Hood contributed a game-high 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the field and Corinn Baggs contributed 13 points in the victory against the Lions. Nina Vukosavljevic had eight points, six rebounds, five assists and one steal.
NYIT improved to 15-9 overall and 9-5 in the ECC. That's good for fourth place in the conference standings. If the Bears maintain that position — and they currently have a two-game lead on Daemen for fourth — NYIT would host an opening-round game on Feb. 28 before the tourney shifts to Roberts Wesleyan for the semifinals and finals.
Against Molloy, NYIT raced to a 24-6 lead, but the Lions clawed back to within one point on a layup by Marthe Guirand 77 seconds into the third quarter. NYIT then answered with a 10-0 run, capped by a layup by Hood, to build a 39-28 advantage. Molloy got no closer than eight points in the fourth quarter.
"It's always an accomplishment to make the ECC playoffs," coach Kenny Parham said. "I'm proud of this group for being so resilient. Now we are increasing the chemistry on boths sides of the ball each day and trying to get better as a team down the stretch."