Northeastern women’s basketball team rolls over Stony Brook in CAA quarterfinals, now two wins away from NCAA tourney

Photo by CAA

TOWSON, Md.—Third-seeded Northeastern rolled over sixth-seeded Stony Brook, 85-68, in the quarterfinals of the Colonial Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Tournament on Friday night at SECU Arena on the Towson University campus.

Northeastern turned a 2-point lead at the start of the fourth into a 17-point fourth quarter blowout.

The Huskies’ victory brings their win streak to nine games. Two more wins and the Huskies will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament for the second time in program history. The last time the Huskies experienced March Madness was 1999. 

Northeastern was led by junior point guard Derin Erdogan who posted two career highs, 27 points and 10 assists. The 5-foot-6 point guard was an All-CAA first-teamer. 

“This is the tournament and it’s just different. So I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time,” Erdogan said.

Northeastern guard JaMiya Braxton kicked in 14 points, including four three-pointers. Guard Gemima Motema also scored 14 points. Forwards Deja Bristol and Halle Idowu did some strong work on the glass, with Bristol pulling in 10 rebounds and scoring 8 points while Idowu had 7 points and 9 rebounds, many in key moments later in the game.

“We had a really impressive fourth quarter that was powered by quite a few of our players. Halle being one on the defensive end and Derin had an exceptional game on the offensive end. I thought that everybody contributed today,” said coach Bridgette Mitchell, who was named CAA coach of the year in her second season at Northeastern.

Mitchell said the fourth quarter defense was the key to the game.

“I thought that we really locked in on what we’re capable of doing. I think that everyone was committed to going out there in that fourth quarter and bringing it. I think that from an offensive perspective, it took care of itself. But I think that it was all led by our defense. We got really great stops, possession after possession,” Mitchell saud.

“We keep what we call fires, which are three stops in a row, and we ended this game with nine of them. That’s really impressive,” she said.

Northeastern will play seventh-seeded Monmouth in a semifinal at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Monmouth upset second-seeded Drexel in the quarterfinals, 65-59. Northeastern is 1-1 against Monmouth this season. The Huskies lost to the Hawks, 54-49, in the first matchup Dec. 30, but defeated them, 75-70, on Jan. 29. If Northeastern wins Saturday, they will play the winner of the Towson vs. William & Mary semifinal game Saturday. 

Northeastern is on a roll, winning the last eight games of the regular season to grab its first share of the CAA regular-season title with Towson and Drexel. The Huskies finished the regular season 13-5 in the conference and 18-11 overall.

Northeastern went into intermission with a five-point lead, 42-37, led by Erdogan’s 21 first-half points. 

But the Huskies took control in the fourth quarter, turning a two-point lead into a 17-point victory. Northeastern led 60-58 to start the fourth. Braxton started the scoring in the fourth, hitting a three-pointer, then Motema hit two free throws and a layup to make it a nine-point lead at 67-58.

Scoring by Idowu, Erdogan and Jaelyn Batts (10 points, 4 rebounds) pushed the lead further, to 75-62, and the Huskies never looked back. A 6-3 Northeastern run finished the scoring at 81-65. 

“I thought we fought for 40 minutes,” said Stony Brook coach Ashley Langford. “I’m extremely proud of our team.” 

Mark Conti is managing editor of Northeastern Global News. Follow him on Twitter @markconti11