Cai led all players with 19 points on 6-14 shooting, 2-5 from three-point range, and 5-5 from the free throw line, adding five assists and four rebounds in only 21 minutes.
Sophomore Amissa Epperson rebounded after picking up four fouls in the game’s first 13:55, finishing with 18 points and game-bests of 14 rebounds, six blocks, and six steals.
The game-changing run was propelled by pressure that forced 11 King’s turnovers in the third quarter alone, with Pratt outscored the visitors 25-4 for the period.
After the team’s putrid first half output, Cai and the Cannoneers shot 38 percent in the third and 41 percent (17-42) in the second half overall, putting the game out of reach in the first five minutes of the half.
In all, Pratt forced 39 Lions turnovers, 32 in the first 30 minutes. In addition to Epperson’s six steals, sophomore Jennifer Klockner snagged six of her own, and junior Anna Bryce added five.
At 7-6 and 3-3 in HVIAC play, Pratt will take on top-seeded Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences on Saturday, February 21 in the first round of the HVIAC Tournament at The College of New Rochelle.
Men end season with win
Guards Andrew Yaglenski and Mehmet Doganta alternated dominant 20-minute performances, leading the Pratt Cannoneers to a 72-52 victory over King’s College in a Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference matchup at the Pratt ARC on Friday evening.
Yaglenski scored 17 of his game-high 21 in the first half, Doganata scored 16 of his season-high 17 points in the second half, and Khari Jones added eight points, six blocks and a career-high 18 rebounds as the Cannoneers never trailed in winning their first HVIAC game of the season.
The Cannoneers close out the 2015-16 season with a 5-10 record and 1-6 in HVIAC play.
The pair combined to shoot 16-for-25 as the Cannoneers shot 44.9 percent from the field (31-for-69), it’s second-highest total of the season in snapping its seven-game losing steak.
“Good win to end the season and build for next year,” said head coach Johnny Lee. “Great effort on the defensive end holding them to one of the lowest field goal percentages on the season.
After scoring the game’s first basket, Yaglenski would score seven of Pratt’s next 14 points. The Frederick, Maryland native’s second three-point basket of the game opened up a 16-13 for the Cannoneers, who then never looked back, opening up a 14-point lead before King’s closed to within nine at the half.
In the second half, the Cannoneer lead fluctuated between seven and 11 before Doganata returned to floor at the 11:32 mark and instantly made his mark, connecting on five consecutive shots as the Cannoneers extended their lead to 17.
“We worked on pushing the pace in practice and I think that gave us a boost in fast break points, especially in the first half,” Lee added.