Boogie Brozoski was driving through the defense, getting to the free-throw line and setting up her Long Island Lutheran teammates. Christina Raiti was nailing jumpers from the perimeter.
The defense was shutting down Bishop Ford as the Crusaders took an 18-point halftime lead and appeared to be on their way to a victory over one of the best teams in New York City.
But after looking great in the first half, Long Island Lutheran suffered a major letdown. It was outscored 40-6 in the second half in a 58-42 loss to Bishop Ford Monday in the Rose Classic Super Jam at Bishop Ford.
Brozoski scored 17 points and Raiti had 12 for Long Island Lutheran (12-2), whose 12-game winning streak ended. Aaliyah Lewis scored 20 points and Shanice Vaughan 16 for Bishop Ford (12-1), which lost to St. Anthony's to open the season.
"Any loss hurts, especially this one, since we had them in the beginning," Brozoski said. "We need to be patient with the ball. Teams will go on runs. We just need to play our game."
Bishop Ford was playing its third game in as many days and had no intensity in the first half. The Falcons turned it on immediately in the second half when Vaughan got a steal and scored. On the play, Brozoski picked up her third foul.
Katie Lavelle scored for Long Island Lutheran, which then went scoreless for almost 12 minutes. The Crusaders committed 11 turnovers in the second half and often were stripped once they got across halfcourt.
"We didn't handle their pressure well," Raiti said. "They came at us with that 2-2-1 trap and we just weren't strong with the ball. We have to learn you can't take a lead for granted. If you let a good team hang in the game, they're not going away."
Brozoski picked up her fourth foul on a charge with 1:26 left in the third, and she sat until there was 6:55 left in the game. Bishop Ford took the lead for good when Lewis went 3-for-4 from the line with 6:55 left to make it 39-38 after she was fouled and the Crusaders were given a technical foul.
Lewis, who scored 13 fourth-quarter points, capped a 27-0 run with a steal and layup with 3:32 remaining for a 47-38 lead. Brozoski finally broke the run with two free throws with 3:09 left.
"It's disappointing," Long Island Lutheran coach Rich Slater said. "It's hard to duplicate that type of pressure all the time. We just didn't handle it the way you're supposed to. If you want to be a really good team and play with these teams, you have to be able to handle it.
"I was so proud of the first half. You can see we can play with these teams. You have to be able to beat these good teams."
Long Island Lutheran led 31-12 after Cansu Atali scored with 2:40 left in the first half. Raiti made a three-pointer off an assist from Brozoski with 15 seconds left for a 36-18 halftime lead.
"We're going to come back," Brozoski said. "We're going to take this loss and turn it into a positive."