Brookdale's 43 Second-Half Points Dooms Buccaneers
By Mike Ready
LINCROFT – Playing without injured starters Sam Carlson and Lauren Bowler, the Jersey Blues (25-2, 17-0) overcame a dreadful first half to defeat the Buccaneers 68-35 Tuesday night at Collins Arena.
Up 25-19 at the intermission, Brookdale outscored Atlantic Cape 43-6 in the second half on their way to their 25th straight win, after opening the season with two non-conference losses.
The Blues, ranked No.4 in NJCAA DIII play, have one regular season game remaining against Passaic Community College (10-12, 9-8) this Saturday at Passaic. With a win, Bookdale will finish the season undefeated in Region XIX play for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
Brookdale bolted out of the gate at the start of the second half and immediately went on a 16-2 run to go up by 20 points, 41-21, nine minutes into the second half. Sophomore guard Marina Lukianov (Howell H.S.) scored five of the first seven points and freshman Marya Trapp (Red Bank Regional) had eight of the Blues 16 points in the run.
Following a Buccaneer basket the Blues kept the heat on and outscored Atlantic Cape 15-0 the next 4:30 of the half to go up by 35 points and put the game away. Trapp and Lukianov each had four points during the stretch.
Lukianov led all scorers with 18 points, 13 in the second half, hauled down five rebounds and had four steals. Trapp registered her eighth double-double of the season with 16 points and 15 boards. She also blocked four shots in another dominating performance from inside the paint.
Sophomore point guard Jazmin Palma (North Bergen H.S.) led the Blues with six assists and netted eight points while grabbing three rebounds.
Freshman guard Kimberly McNelis (Keansburg H.S.) chipped in with 11 points, including two second- half 3-pointers, while sophomore guard Nadya Szaniszlo (Keasnburg H.S.), getting the start Tuesday, added four points and pulled down nine rebounds. Freshman center/forward Jasma Stanback (Keansburg H.S.) grabbed eight boards and blocked one shot.
The Blues expect to have both Bowler (concussion) and Carlson (back) available for the playoffs.
Brookdale hosts the semifinals and finals of the NJCAA Region XIX Tournament Thursday, February 27, and Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Collins Arena on the Brookdale campus.