NEW YORK – After a layoff of more than a week, the Transylvania women's basketball team hits the New York Metropolitan area for a pair of nonconference tests beginning on Tuesday night.
Following a heavy week of finals to close out the fall semester, the Pioneers have taken to the Big Apple over the weekend to enjoy the sights and sounds of the City that Never Sleeps while also packing in a steady dose of practices leading up to a set of midweek games.
The Pioneers (3-3, 1-2 HCAC) begin their New York showcase when they visit The College of New Jersey Lions (6-3, 3-1 NJAC) in Ewing Township, New Jersey on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. The Lions are looking to win their second consecutive game after winning at Delaware Valley, 68-51 last Saturday.
The College of New Jersey is led by sophomore forward Jen Byrne, who ranks 18th in the nation in scoring at 21.1 points per contest, and freshman forward Shannon Devitt, who is averaging 9.6 rebounds per game.
Belonging to the New Jersey Athletic Conference, the Lions are currently in second place in their conference standings and are led by first-year head coach Chessie Jackson, who played at NESCAC power Williams College and most recently was an assistant coach at Princeton College of the Ivy League.
On Wednesday, the Pioneers will journey along the Hudson River up north to Newburgh, New York to take on the Mt. St. Mary College Knights for a 6:00 p.m. tip-off. A member of the New York-based Division III Skyline Conference, the Knights carry a record of 6-4 into Wednesday's meeting with Transylvania at the Kaplan Center in Newburgh.
The Knights enter Wednesday's matchup having won five of their last six games and have held four of those opponents to under 50 points. Mt. St. Mary boasts two double-digit scorers in senior forward Jessica Rini (12.1 ppg) and junior center Kayla Cleare (12 ppg).
Mt. St. Mary is coached by two-time Skyline Conference Head Coach of the Year Ryan Kadlubowski, who is in his ninth season with the Knights.
The Pioneers are led into action by senior forward Rachel Cox, who leads the team in scoring at 12.5 points per game, shooting 50 percent from the floor and 44 percent from three-point range. Freshman guard Zenoviah Walker is coming off a career-high 16-point performance in the Pioneers' most recent game on December 9 vs. Rose-Hulman and leads the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in three-point percentage (58.5 percent).
Transylvania's other double-digit scorer is sophomore guard Ashton Woodard, who is averaging 12 points per game while shooting 51 percent from the floor.
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