Photo Credit: Vinnie Lucia

FDU WBB season ends in WNIT loss to Columbia

The FDU WBB Knights(24-8, 14-2 NEC) 2022-23 season came to an end in a 69-53 loss to the Columbia Lions(24-5, 12-2 Ivy League) in the first round of the WNIT at Levien Gymnasium in New York City.

Chloe Wilson led the Knights in scoring by pouring in a game-high 22 points, while Madeline Selvaggi pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds and dished out five assists.

"Even though the season ended today I talked in the locker room about how extremely I'm proud of our players," FDU Head Coach Angelika Szumilo explained. "They were extremely committed in the summer; pre-season practices every day and brought it and challenged each other and held each other accountable. Even though we finished the season with losses in a row we've had a remarkable season. We're building this program and we've done better than last year, and I think every one of us knows what we have to do better."

"I'm extremely proud of Chloe's(Wilson) and growth not just in her game but scoring points and as a leader and consistent player and teammate,"  Szumilo explained. "I'm proud of our seniors and we have two in Maddie(Madeline Selvaggi) and Celia(Carbonell) and they have been with me since my first year and they were a big part of as we continued to progress as a program."

"What Maddie has done for us all season she's not a major scorer and she led us in assists and had twice as many assists as turnovers this season," Szumilo said.  "She's a floor leader and her rebounding is very good and what she did today. That's what she has been in her FDU uniform for five years. She always tries to perform to the best of her abilities."

The Knights got a solid start in the first quarter by jumping to a 9-4 advantage with six minutes left. Celia Carbonell hit a pair of trifectas, and Madeline Selvaggi knocked down a triple.

FDU led 11-6 with five and a half minutes remaining, but Columbia responded with a 6-0 spurt to reclaim the lead for the first time since the nine-minute mark.

The Knights were in the zone from behind the arc as Dahomee Forgues, and Chloe Wilson buried shots from downtown. By the time the period ended, the Lions had led 19-17.

In the second quarter, Columbia went on a 6-0 spurt. Chloe Wilson managed to stem the tide, briefly swishing a jumper. FDU closed within 30-26 with three and a half minutes to go, but the Lions answered with a 10-3 run to close the first half. Abby Hsu(16 points) and Jada Patrick(11 points) dominated as they scored 27 points. Columbia was overpowering in points in the paint with a 24-8 edge.

FDU struggled in the second quarter from the perimeter at a 29 percent clip while converting one of five shots from long range

"We needed to avoid those bigger runs and when you play Columbia which is a very good basketball team and we gave them a bunch of easy looks as well," Szumilo noted. "When you play on the road against very good teams our shot selection needed to be better and not afraid to take shots."

Once the third quarter finished, the points production dipped significantly as the teams combined to score 19 points. Columbia was up 52-26 at the end of the period. The Knights' shooting percentage fell to 14 percent.

"Points in the paint, points in transition and second chance points were the difference," FDU WBB Head Coach Angelika Szumilo noted. "In the third quarter they had four or five offensive rebounds in a row, and you just can't do that against teams like that and a learning lesson for us."

In the fourth quarter, the Lions quickly expanded their lead and never stepped off the gas pedal as they cruised to the victory, and FDU 2022-23 season concluded.

On the 2022-23 season, Chloe Wilson said, "It was a great season and I loved the girls I played with and was glad we got the chance to play in the WNIT." "I'm just glad to be able to put this jersey on every time I stepped on the court and play the sport I love." "I'm glad I got the opportunity from Coach Ang(Angelika Szumilo) to be able to play here and excited for another year."

Szumilo talked about the Knights basketball program, "We're going in the right direction and the majority of the roster back next year. This group is hungry and been all season."

"The best part about sports is you get all the wins and compete and do everything you can, and then it's March Madness, and sometimes it doesn't cut out what you want and the painful part," Szumilo explained. "The players worked so hard, and we're going to build off that and continue to improve.  I must get better not just with the X's and O's but also with how I'm coaching them and get better as a coach. There comes a time to reflect on what we've done throughout the season and as a staff and team, but individually, it starts with me."