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Dowling Gets Physical Game From Andino

Dowling's Zulmary Andino says she gets the physical side of her game from playing in her native Puerto Rico.

By Mark La Monica. STAFF WRITER

November 26, 2003
Copyright ©2003 Newsday. All rights reserved.

What all of Puerto Rico knew for a long time, Dowling and the rest of the NYCAC are beginning to learn. Zulmary Andino es un jugador baloncesto muy bueno.

Si, Andino is good. Her ballhandling, drives into the lane, and fierce sense of competitiveness were all honed on the courts in her native Puerto Rico.

"Over here, it's more technical, more fundamental," Andino said of the different styles of play. "Over there, it's rough and more physical. You just play until you're dead."

Andino, a 5-8 senior guard, guided Dowling (25-6 last season) to the program's first sweep of the NYCAC regular-season and tournament titles. Andino averaged 17.2 points, third-best in the conference, 3.16 assists and 2.45 steals. Her 46.8-percent success from the three-point line was second in the conference.

Andino, entering her third season, is a two-time all-conference player. Last month, she was voted preseason NYCAC player of the year and is a big reason the Golden Eagles were picked to repeat as conference champions and earn another berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

"She's a very driven player," second-year coach Fran Arato said. "When you give her the ball, you know she's going to score. If you leave her open, she'll hit any shot."

She spent last summer in Puerto Rico working on a few new moves and tricks. The new repertoire will help Andino, as will the addition of inside players. Arato said he wants to take advantage of the team's five 6-footers, including senior Melissa Danchalski and sophomore Heini Suokari. Danchalski averaged 11.6 points and 9.0 rebounds last season. Lorren Galloway, a 6-3 sophomore transfer from St. John's, will play a role as Dowling tries to take some of the burden off the guards. Junior Laura Mullally (60 three-pointers) and senior Jackie Lukas (9.4 points, 3.5 assists) will share the backcourt with Andino.

The road to a second straight title is always difficult. Philadelphia (21-10). New Haven (20-10) and St. Thomas Aquinas (22-8), last season's runner-up, will be the toughest competition.

Adelphi (18-11), the 2001-02 champion, will look to senior forward Jamie Douglas and sophomore center Carlyshia Hurdle. All-American guard Dani Thomas, the conference's leading scorer, graduated, so Southampton (15-13) must replace her 23 points. Half a dozen 6-footers and a pair of freshman guards could be the trick. C.W. Post (9-16) returns four starters, including junior point guard Thalia Jackson and 6-1 junior forward Danielle Heffel. Senior forward Georgia Gordon, the conference's leading rebounder with an average of 13.3 per game, returns for NYIT (12-15) as does 6-3 junior center Tamika Cox. Molloy (9-18) is guard heavy, led by sophomore Donna Lohrey, the NYCAC rookie of the year, and senior Liz Freyer.

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