NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Pouring in 69 points for the tournament, College of New Rochelle sophomore Dar’Neisha Brice (California, Md./Great Mills) was named 2018 Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player, leading the No. 2 seed Blue Angels to the 2018 HVIAC Women's Basketball Championship with a 77-65 victory over top-seeded Davis College.
Behind Brice’s heroics and 39 points in the final, the Blue Angels (11-13) rallied from deficits in both games of the tournament—behind 14 points in the final—to capture their second league championship and first since 2014.
Davis (15-10) advanced to their first title game never trailing in a 61-47 semifinal win over No. 4 Pratt (9-13) led by Brooke Lewandowski’s (Buffalo, N.Y.) 19-point, 13-rebound double-double.
In the thrilling second semifinal, Brice and Berkeley College junior Ayana Ratliff (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Loughlin) both dazzled the packed house. Ratliff, named the HVIAC Player of the Year in post-championship ceremonies, hit a layup with 2.6 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and behind her seven points in the extra period, the Knights led by four with 15 seconds to play, seeming poised to advance to the final.
But CNR scored the final five points of the contest and Brice’s coast-to-coast layup with two seconds remaining lifted the Blue Angels to an improbable 78-77 victory. Ratliff would finish with a tournament-high 40 points paired with 14 rebounds while Brice carried CNR to the finals with 30 points, seven assists, and seven steals.
The Sunday final saw New Rochelle build an early 8-3 lead before a 23-4 run spanning the 1st and 2nd quarters allowed regular-season champion Davis to build a 14-point advantage that they carried into the lockers, 39-25, led by Lewandowski’s 15 first-half points.
After struggling to find the range on their home floor in the first half connecting on just 20 percent, the Blue Angels came storming out of the lockers and Brice scored nine points over the first 2:48 of the second half to spark a 17-4 run cutting the game to one, 43-42, at the five-minute mark. Brice would finish with 17 points in the third quarter as CNR outscored 30-9 in the period to lead 55-48 at the final break and never trailed again.
Brice scored 27 of her game-high 39 points in the second half. The MVP added eight rebounds and game highs of six assists and six thefts in the game. Melissa Perez (Queens, N.Y./Monsignor McClancy) aided Brice off the bench with 17 points—11 in the final 20 minutes. Lewandowski paced Davis in defeat with a 27-point, 10-rebound double-double.
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2018 HVIAC Women's Basketball Championship
Saturday, February 17
at The College of New Rochelle
Sunday, February 18
at The College of New Rochelle
#2 New Rochelle def. #1 Davis, 77-65
The College of New Rochelle
Tournament Runner-Up & Regular Season Champion
Dar'Neisha Brice - New Rochelle
- 2017: Albany Pharmacy
- 2016: Albany Pharmacy
- 2015: St. Joseph's
- 2014: New Rochelle
- 2013: St. Joseph's
- 2012: Albany Pharmacy
- 2011: Albany Pharmacy
- 2010: St. Joseph's
- 2009: St. Elizabeth's
- 2008: Mount Saint Vincent
- 2007: Mount Saint Vincent
- 2006: St. Joseph's
- 2005: Mount Saint Vincent
- 2004: Purchase