WBB comes away with a last-second win, beats Staten Island 56-54


The New Haven women’s basketball team wears “Black Lives Matter” shirts against the College of Staten Island, West Haven, Feb. 15, 2023.

With seconds ticking down and the score tied, the ball was in Camryn DeBose’s hands.

On the wing, she crossed over and lowered her shoulder into the defender in front of her. She drove through the lane and as she’s done all year, connected on a big time shot with her body twisting through the air. The layup gave New Haven the slim win, as the final seconds ticked off the clock and the College of Staten Island missed a floater to tie it up.

The finish was a storybook for DeBose, as it came on a night that went beyond basketball.

DeBose, a member of New Haven’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee, organized a Black Lives Matter theme for the game alongside the Black Student Union and university alum Bionca Chambers. The night aimed to raise awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement and recognize the many names of those affected by police brutality and systemic injustice in the country.

“I hope [those attending the games] see more about the Black community, learn about the Black community,” DeBose said after the game while donning a “Black Is Beautiful” shirt. “I want people to show up and to know that Black Lives Matter isn’t about exclusion but inclusion and that injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.”

While it may have just been a Wednesday night, out-of-conference basketball game, it took a greater meaning in what it means for DeBose to be an athlete and have such a platform.

“I think it means a lot, especially seeing that a student-athlete is just as passionate about a political [and] social movement that’s worldwide,” DeBose said. “When they see us leading, maybe it can get people to engage.”

Heading into the night as heavy favorites on the court, New Haven scored the first basket of the game with a DeBose jumper, her first of a game-high 26 points. Two minutes later, she scored another jumper to give the Chargers an early four-point lead.

Staten Island responded with a three from guard Kaia Johnson, but DeBose continued her hot start with another jumper and two three-pointers. With three minutes remaining in the first quarter, New Haven was at 12 points,

New Haven continued their strong offensive start with scores from but forward Aurora Deshaies and guard Kameryn King pushed the Chargers to a 10-point lead with 1:28 on the clock. Staten Island cut that lead down to five with a jumper from guard Elizabeth Lofaro and a three from forward Jenalyse Alarcon, waking up forward Leighanna Lister’s jumper to put New Haven ahead by seven for the final score of the quarter.

Lister started the scoring in the second quarter with a layup, assisted by forward Bianca Pendleton. New Haven built their lead back up to double-digits with a layup from Deshaies, ending the game’s two-minute scoreless streak.

New Haven continued building their lead to as many as 18 after a pair of free throws from King. Staten Island would not allow the Chargers another basket in the final 4:45 of the half, scoring seven unanswered points to get within 11 going into the break.

Both teams scored early in the second half with a three from New Haven guard Lindsay Hogan and a layup from Alarcon. New Haven stayed in control of the game, keeping a comfortable lead with strong defense and scores from Hogan, Deshaies and Lister.

Staten Island responded, scoring six points in the final two minutes, which brought them within eight going into the fourth quarter.

After a layup from Deshaies, Staten Island guard Ashley Lambert caught fire with eight consecutive points, making it a two-point game with 6:53 remaining. DeBose answered right back with a three, and a pair of free throws from King extended the Chargers’ lead to seven.

New Haven’s offense could not get back on track after a 30-second timeout, which gave Staten Island a chance to take the game with just over three minutes left. Lambert then knocked down a pair of clutch threes with time winding down to tie the game at 54.

The two teams looked to be headed to overtime, but with just 3.7 seconds left on the clock DeBose knocked in the game-winning layup for the final.

“I was passionate during the game so it felt good to actually get that one,” DeBose said. “It was a team win, but we’ve got to do better.”

The win gives New Haven their 16th of the season, as they were led by DeBose’s 26 points. Deshaies added eight points and 13 rebounds of her own, while King also scored eight.

After dropping a road conference matchup against Le Moyne College on Saturday, the Chargers return to Charger Gymnasium on Tuesday night at 5:30 for their final regular season game of the season against Saint Anselm College. More information can be found at NewHavenChargers.com.