BROOKLYN, NY –- Jah-Leah Ellis tallied 25 points and pulled down a career-high 27 rebounds to propel The College of New Rochelle to a 78-72 win over the College at Old Westbury to kick off the Dr. Betty Shabazz Tournament, held at Medgar Evers College. The win advanced the Blue Angels to the championship game.
After not defeated the Panthers for 10 straight meetings, CNR has now won the last two games between the teams. Ellis' point total was matched by rookie Hannah Cambel, who drained a school-record seven three pointers, converting seven of 11 from beyond the arc. Alyssa Pechin chipped in with 12 points while handing out a game-high seven helpers.
Crystal Barnes recorded 14 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks over just 15 minutes of action in a losing effort for Old Westbury.
The Panthers score 11 of the first 15 points of the game to take their largest lead, 11-4, with 15:51 left in the first half. CNR responded with an 11-2 run of its own over the next three minutes to take a 15-13 lead. The Blue Angels slowly extended the lead, leading by 10 points on several occasions and leading by as many as 11 before carrying a nine point, 39-30, lead into the break.
CNR posted a high water mark with a 14 point, 55-41, lead with just under 12 minutes remaining before the Panthers began to whittle away at the lead. Old Westbury used an 8-0 run to take a one point, 60-59, lead with 4:50 left to complete the comeback, but Ellis put the Blue Angels back on top in the ensuing possession, and held the Panthers without a field goal over the final 2:30 to post the win.
CNR will take on Yeshiva University at 3:00 PM Sunday in the title game, as the Blue Angels seek to defend their tournament crown.