#NECWBB: Soaring Seahawk Scoring at Unprecedented Rate

Wagner junior G Jasmine Nwajei

Wagner junior G Jasmine Nwajei

It had only happened once in the first 29 seasons of Northeast Conference women’s basketball, but Jasmine Nwajei has done it twice in a two-week span.

Wagner’s junior guard eclipsed the 50-point mark for the first time on January 24, pouring in a #NECWBB single-game record 53 points against Sacred Heart.

Eight days after surpassing Mount St’ Mary’s legend Kim Rhock (50 pts – Feb. 8, 1990) for the top spot on the league’s single-game scoring list, the 5-foot-8 Nwajei piled up 52 points in an overtime victory at St. Francis Brooklyn (Feb. 1).

Her latest binge was enough to boost her season scoring average to 27.7 ppg and move her past Washington’s Kelsey Plum and into first place on the NCAA Division I leader board.

Since stepping foot on Wagner’s picturesque Staten Island campus, Nwajei has been a point-scoring machine. The New York City product began the first Seahawk ever to reach the 1,000-point mark as a sophomore.

Continuing her climb up Wagner’s all-time scoring chart, Nwajei stands one spot away from the top. With 1,816 career points, Nwajei needs to score only 20 more to surpass Stephanie Samuels who tallied 1,835 from 1982-86.

She is the 11th woman in #NECWBB history to reach the 1,800-point mark and is only six points from cracking the Top 10.

The Staten Island Advance’s Cormac Gordon was present for Nwajei’s 32-point performance in a 70-53 victory over SFBK on January 26 and proceeded to pen a telling feature story on the Seahawks and their sensational scorer.

Cormac on Jaz

Read: Wagner College’s Jasmine Nwajei is shattering records while program searches for winning path

 

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Nwajei was also the subject of a NEC Front Row video feature piece, which you can watch below…

“For The Love of the Game”

 

#TBT: Former Mount St. Mary’s Forward Could Score the ‘Rhock ‘

Kim Rhock (above) was featured on  the cover of the 1989-90 Mount St. Mary's media guide. The team proceeded to post a 23-6 record that season.

Kim Rhock (above) was featured on the cover of the 1989-90 Mount St. Mary’s media guide. The team proceeded to post a 23-6 record that season.

 

Well before Jasmine Nwajei, there was Kim Rhock.

Mount St. Mary’s joined the Northeast Conference just in time for her senior season.

Although she spent only one year competing in the NEC, the 5-foot-10 forward had plenty of time to leave her mark and she did just that.

On February 8, 1990, Rhock set a single-game scoring record that would stand for more than one-quarter century. The Mount senior dropped 50 points on Monmouth, becoming the first woman ever to reach the 50-point mark in a #NECWBB game.

It wasn’t until this past January that a NEC player achieved the feat again. Wagner’s Jasmine Nwajei joined Rhock in the 50-point club when she hit for 53 in a 77-73 setback to Sacred Heart on Jan. 24, 2016.

Kim Rhock's #NECWBB single-game scoring record stood for nearly 26 years.

Kim Rhock’s #NECWBB single-game scoring record stood for nearly 26 years.

Rhock went on to capture the 1990 #NECWBB Player of the Year award, steering the Mountaineers to a 23-win season that included a regular season conference crown. The Mount, which went 14-2 in league play that season, dropped a 70-65 decision to Fairleigh Dickinson in the 1990 title tilt.

Rhock, who earned a spot on the 1990 NEC All-Tournament Team, finished her career with 1,808 points and 992 rebounds. Both marks rank second all-time in the Mount’s career record book.

She also played softball for Mount St. Mary’s after earning high school varsity letters in four different sports at Wicomico HS in Maryland.

The late Bill Sheahan, a NEC Hall of Fame head coach, referred to Rhock saying, “Kim is one of the best all-around players I’ve ever had.”

March on the Mind: NEC Unveils Official Logo for 2016 Hoops Tournament

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The regular season has hit the stretch run and March is less than one month away.

As the excitement for postseason basketball begins to build, the Northeast Conference tipped off its promotional plan for the 2016 NEC Basketball Tournament on Wednesday, February 3.

The league office uncovered the official logo for this year’s event, which will start with men’s quarterfinal round play on March 2.

The tournament employs the same format for the men and women with all games being hosted by the higher seeded teams. Only the top-eight teams in the final regular season standings qualify for the postseason event, the winner of which receives automatic entry into the Big Dance formally known as the NCAA Tournament.

As the tournament’s start draws closer, be sure to visit the Overtime! Blog for vital info on fan contests and promotions.

 

Men’s Tournament Dates

March 2 – Quarterfinal Round (Select games live on MSG+)

March 5 – Semifinal Round (live on MSG+ and Fox College Sports)

March 8 – Championship Game (live on ESPN2)

 

Women’s Tournament Dates

March 6 – Quarterfinal Round (live at necfrontrow.com)

March 9 – Semifinal Round (live on ESPN3)

March 13 – Championship Game (live on ESPNU)

#NECWBB REWIND: Bulldogs Use Fourth-Quarter Spurt to Down Blue Devils, Remain Unbeaten

#NECWBB Promo Poster (2/1)

The #NECWBB on ESPN3 Game of the Week featured the two teams who tied for the 2014-15 Northeast Conference regular season crown.

Bryant put its perfect conference record on the line in New Britain, taking on a Central Connecticut team that had won three in a row.

CCSU held a 48-41 advantage heading into the final quarter, but the visiting Bulldogs clawed their way back to move to 10-0 in league games.

Check out the highlights from Monday night’s featured contest with John Schmeelk and Pam Roecker on the call. Also hear postgame comments from #NECWBB Player of the Week Breanna Rucker and Bryant’s longtime head coach Mary Burke.

 

Although it wasn’t the league’s featured game on ESPN3, Fairleigh Dickinson and Saint Francis U made for an improbable finish in Hackensack. Check out the frantic final 20 seconds below…

 

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Women-In-Sports Wednesday: Former Blackbird Still Active In The Game

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Angelika (Stec) Szumilo was a key piece to LIU Brooklyn’s NEC championship puzzle in 2001.

It’s the story of a foreign-born junior college point guard who found her way to the Big Dance, twice.

Angelika Szumilo’s collegiate basketball career began at Mercer County College in New Jersey where she led the Vikings to back-to-back Region XIX titles.

After earning the NJCAA Region XIX Player of the Year award in 2000, Szumilo, who was then known as Angelika Stec, found her way to Downtown Brooklyn where first-year head coach Tony Bozzella was attempting to turn a scrappy, talented bunch into winners.

Bozzella inherited a LIU Brooklyn team that had building blocks in place with Tamika Dudley, an imposing post player, and Kim MacMillan, a dynamic scorer, set for their sophomore seasons. It is difficult to mold a championship team without a reliable point guard, though, and fortunately for Bozzella, he found one in Szumilo.

With the Polish-born junior college transfer running the point, the Blackbirds took off come NEC Tournament time and captured the program’s first-ever trip to the Big Dance.

Szumilo averaged 8.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists during the 2000-01 season and her 136 helpers ranked second-most in LIU single-season history at the time. Szumilo averaged 13.7 points per game over three contests during the 2001 NEC Tournament and was named to the all-tournament team. She almost single-handedly took over the final against Mount St. Mary’s, scoring a then career-high 21 points on 9-for-11 shooting with eight rebounds, playing all 40 minutes in Long Island’s 70-61 victory

Szumilo earned NEC All-Tournament honors again in 2002, but the Blackbirds finished one win shy of a championship repeat.

Although her playing eligibility was expended, Szumilo’s career at LIU was far from over.

When Stephanie Gaitley took over the head coaching position for the 2002-03 season, Szumilo was named to the staff as an assistant. She remained at LIU for five seasons, assisting Gaitley during back-to-back 20-win campaigns (2006-07; 2007-08) and a Postseason WNIT appearance (2006-07), the first in program history.

She moved onto Monmouth with Gaitley, helping the Hawks to their first-ever Postseason WNIT berth in 2011.

For the past four-plus seasons, Szumilo has served as the associate head coach alongside Gaitley at Atlantic 10 member Fordham.

Angelika Szumilo, a former two-time NEC All-Tournament selection, is in her fifth season as the associate head for Fordham.

Angelika Szumilo, a former two-time NEC All-Tournament selection, is in her fifth season as the associate head for Fordham.

The Rams have enjoyed unprecedented success, including three consecutive 20-win campaigns, under their current leadership.

In 2014, thirteen years after Szumilo and the Blackbirds captured the NEC crown, Fordham secured its first-ever A-10 Tournament title.

She did it in Brooklyn as a player and in the Bronx as a coach.

Angelika (Stec) Szumilo has carved out quite a career for herself in the New York City college  hoops scene.