Connie Simmons added 15 points for the third-seeded Golden Lions (26-3) with Christine Verrelle finishing in double digits with 11 points to go along with eight rebounds.
For the sixth-seeded Bears (23-6), Nikki Jo Rotolo had a team high of 16 points with seven rebounds. Charlene Riddick pitched in with 11 points and four rebounds.
After the Golden Lions grabbed a five-point lead in the opening minutes of play, Rotolo completed a three-point play cutting the gap to two, 7-5, at the 17:35 mark. Seja Gamble then sparked an 8-0 Dowling run during the next four and a half minutes to jump out to a 10-point lead, 17-7. The Bears countered with six unanswered during the next three minutes, but the Golden Lions took their largest lead of the half, 35-19, following free throws from Verrelle with 5:30 reamining. The Bears, however, closed out the half on a 9-0 run to close the gap to seven, 35-28.
With back-to-back layups from Wilson and a 3-pointer by Verrelle, Dowling pushed its lead to 15, 46-31, a little more than five minutes into the second half. After three points by NYIT’s Rebecca Lynch cut the led to nine, 40-31, a Simmons free throw put the advantage back to 10 and the Golden Lions cruised with a double-digit lead for the next 10 minutes.
The Golden Lions shot 40.7 percent from the field while holding the Bears to 31.7 percent.
Dowling will face second-seeded Stonehill College in the second round of the East Region at 5 p.m. ET Saturday.