NYU women’s basketball is moving on to the NCAA Tournament

The Violets extended their winning streak to 13 and reached the Sweet 16.

The NYU women’s basketball team defeats Greensboro College and Messiah University. (Courtesy of NYU Athletics)

NYU women’s basketball advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division III Women’s Tournament after a successful weekend with two wins over Greensboro College and Messiah University. Neither team could keep up with the Violets as they dominated from the start, beating Greensboro 71-54 on Friday night and Messiah 62-41 the next day.

It now marks seasons in which the Violets have won at least two games in the NCAA Tournament.

Beyond the raw numbers, the Violets’ success this season has been recognized by the Collegiate Athletic Association. The team nearly captured conference honors, with junior forward Natalie Bruns earning the UAA Women’s Basketball Player of the Year, sophomore Bella Pelekchia earning her second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year and freshman Caroline Pepper earning Rookie of the Year. her phenomenal company.

Bruns was the only player in the UAA this season to rank in the top 11 per game in points, rebounds, field goal percentage, assists, blocks and steals. She also broke NYU’s single-season blocks record this year and had a triple-double in a 77-52 win over Carnegie Mellon on Jan. 27. Her stats included 16 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks, tying the UAA single-game block record.

“Obviously, it’s very exciting, especially with the level of talent that’s been in the league this year,” Bruns said of winning Player of the Year. “This award made me grateful for my team – they were incredibly supportive and proud when it was announced, and I wouldn’t have won the award if I didn’t have such talented teammates and coaches.”

Bruns showed her talent this weekend in both games. On Friday against Greensboro, she scored 29 points and controlled the victory with 15 rebounds. The Pride tied the score at 7-7 in the first quarter, but it was all violets after that. They led by as many as 23 points and even outscored Greensboro 46-24, with Bruns playing a big role.

“My teammates kept getting me the ball when I was making shots,” Bruns said. “We’re really versatile, so if our 3-pointers aren’t coming, we go inside.”

NYU didn’t stop there, as the team faced Messiah a day later and dominated the court again. Despite​​​​another poor game from three, going 1-10, NYU outscored Messiah by 16 in the paint. The Violets also held the Falcons to 0-8 from three and 19-61 from the field. NYU also limited Messiah’s transition offense and held them to zero fast break points. Senior Jenny Walker led the team with 24 points and added nine rebounds of her own.

Just like in their win against Greensboro, NYU again led for most of the game. After the Falcons opened the game with a 4-0 run, the Violets responded with a 10-0 run and never looked back, leading the rest of the game. The Violets’ biggest lead was 27 points in the fourth quarter, and the game was another emphatic victory for a very resilient and well-coached NYU team.

“We definitely came in with a defensive game plan and a defensive mindset,” head coach Meg Barber said after the game.

On Friday, NYU will face a formidable Trine University team that defeated the University of Washington 79-69 in a first-round matchup. The Violets split the season series against WashU this year, showing just how strong this Thunder team is. NYU will have its hands full with Trine’s Sidney Wagner, who is averaging nearly 15 points per contest and an impressive 2.2 steals per game.

Despite the tough fight for the elite eight, the Violets remain confident in their championship dreams.

“With a winning streak, it’s the same feeling in the locker room,” Pepper said. “We’re just focused on our goal of getting to the national championship. We’re locked in game by game and ready to continue the streak.”

Contact Miller Romm at [email protected]

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