Aiyesha Brown honored in special Senior Day ceremony before Knights fall to Lady Builders, 72-56 in home finale

The Berkeley College of New York women’s basketball team lost their final home of the 2013-2014 campaign, falling to the Lady Builders of the Apprentice School by a score of 72-56 Sunday evening at the Wellness Center on the campus of the College of New Rochelle. With the loss, the Knights dipped to a mark of 13-5 on the year, while the Apprentice School improved its record to 18-4 on the year.

It was Senior Day for Berkeley’s women’s basketball team, and standout guard Aiyesha Brown was honored prior to the game in a special ceremony. Head Coach Sharod Tomlinson took the microphone and said a few heartfelt words about the Jamaica, NY native, and Director of Athletics Andy DeStephano presented Brown with a commemorative plaque to thank the senior for her years of dedicated service to the team.

The Lady Builders set the tempo for this game early, jumping out to a 7-0 advantage just 3:52 into the contest. Over the ensuing 1:02 of play, the Knights  put together a 6-1 run (a spurt that included a layup by junior forward Patricia Patterson, another layup by Brown, and a field goal by junior forward Milan Germany) to pull to within two points at 8-6. That would be the closest Berkeley College would get, though, as the Lady Builders built their lead and eventually took a 30-21 advantage into the locker room at halftime.

In the second half, Apprentice School continued to increase its lead, and when junior guard Shanae Hilliard knocked down a three-point basket with 13:17 remaining in the game, the Lady Builders were up 15 (49-34) – their biggest advantage of the contest.

The Knights kept things close, outscoring the Apprentice School 16-8 over the next 7:52 to pull to within seven points – 57-50 – with just 5:28 remaining. Berkeley College would convert on just two field goals the rest of the way (and none in the final 2:47 of play), as the Lady Builders finished strong, eventually picking up a 16 point victory.

Despite the loss for the Knights, Brown played very well on the day she was honored for Senior Day, as she finalized her evening with a team-high 18 points to go along with two steals. Patterson posted a double-double with 15 points, a team-high 11 rebounds, and four steals, and junior guard Janay Thomas added 15 points, five rebounds, and two assists.

In the victory for the Apprentice School, the Lady Builders were paced by sophomore guard Kenya Wilkerson who recorded game-highs in points with 20 and assists with nine. She also grabbed six rebounds and collected three steals as well. Senior forward Courtney Collins added 19 points, five rebounds, and a game-high five steals, and Hillard nailed three treys and finalized her night with 13 points.

The Lady Builders held edges in most categories, including field goal percentage, as the Apprentice School knocked down 43.5 percent of their attempts from the floor (27-62) compared to 37.3 percent for Berkeley (37.3). The Apprentice School drained 14 of their 20 shots from the charity stripe (60 percent), while the Knights nailed just 17 of their 31 free throws (54.8 percent). The Lady Builders out-rebounded Berkeley 46-33, while also dishing 17 assists to the Knights’ eight.

The Knights will now ready themselves for the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference postseason, as Berkeley College already knows it will head into this year’s tournament as the No. 1 overall seed. The Knights’ opponent is yet to be determined, but their semifinal game will take place this Saturday evening at the Wellness Center at the College of New Rochelle. Start-time for Berkeley’s game will be either at 6:00pm or 8:00pm.