Shorewomen Can Taste Post-Season Play

By Gabrielle Devaud
Elm Staff Writer

With wins over Haverford College and Dickinson College last week, the Shorewomen have improved to 10-10 overall and 8-7 in Centennial Conference action. The eight conference wins are the most for the Shorewomen since the 1998-99 season. They have won four straight conference games for the first time since January 23-February 2, 1999.

Visiting WC had three players score in double figures en route to a 58-52 win over host Haverford last Wednesday. The Shorewomen swept the season series with the Fords for the second straight year.

In the first half, junior Sally O’Donnell had 15 points to lead all scorers. WC went on an 18-1 run to take a 32-19 lead with 2:20 left in the opening half. Freshman Erin Fitzgerald scored the first hoop of the run on a layup with 7:29 to go and freshman Kelly Mitchell tied the game 18-18 on a jumper in the paint with 6:58 remaining.

O’Donnell put WC back in front on a three-pointer with 6:22 left in the half. After the score was cut to 21-19, Washington scored 11 straight points. Mitchell hit a three-pointer with 5:56 to go and 34 seconds later freshman Latisha Pledger scored on a bank shot. Fitzgerald, Mitchell and O’Donnell all hit jump shots to close out the half.

In the second half, Fitzgerald made two free throws to give WC a 38-29 lead. The Fords answered with an 8-2 run trimming the lead to 40-37. The Shorewomen scored the next nine points to take a 49-37 lead with 8:21 left in the game on a three-point play by Meghan Tait. The Fords cut the WC lead to 51-45 with 5:48 to go in the contest, but their efforts were stopped short. The Shorewomen went on a 7-2 run over the next 5:13 to lead 58-47 with 35 seconds left on two free throws by Tait.

O’Donnell led WC with a team-best 17 points, while Mitchell added 16. Fitzgerald added 11 points and she grabbed a team-best seven rebounds. Tait dished out a game-high five assists.

Washington shot 32% from three-point land and 70% from the line. WC made 16 free throws to just four for Haverford. The Shorewomen had a 41-34 edge on the boards and only had 11 turnovers to 17 for the Fords.

WC returned to Centennial Conference action last Saturday afternoon with a game at Dickinson, topping the Red Devils 67-58. Fitzgerald had her first career double-double with a career-high 16 points and tied her career-high in rebounds with 10, also a game-best. She also established a career-high with a game-high three blocks.

The Shorewomen swept the season series with the Red Devils for the first-time ever. WC also snapped a seven-game losing streak, winning at Dickinson for the first time since a 57-55 win in February 2002.

Going into the second half, WC had a 27-23 lead. Washington scored the next eight points to take a 35-26 lead with 16:07 to go. O’Donnell closed out the 10-2 run with 14:08 left in the contest when she connected on a three-pointer to put the Shorewomen in front 39-28. After cutting the score to 43-37, the guests went on an 8-3 run to take a 51-40 lead with 6:34 left on a lay-in by O’Donnell. The Red Devils scored the next four points to trim the lead to 51-44 with 5:46 to go, but a layup by sophomore Erin Kile and a jumper by Fitzgerald restored the lead to 55-44 with 4:51 remaining. After a Dickinson basket, Kile converted on a three-point play to put WC up 58-46 with 4:13 to go.

After Dickinson cut the lead to 58-52 with 2:29 to go, O’Donnell stepped up to the line and hit both free throws to extend the WC lead to 60-52 with 2:06 to go. The Red Devils scored on jumper to trim the lead to 60-54 with 1:34 remaining. Mattox stole the ball and passed to Tait, who hit one from the charity stripe to make it 61-54 with 56 seconds remaining. Dickinson knocked down two free throws to trim the lead to 61-56 with 44 seconds to go. Tait was fouled and canned both from the foul line to give WC a 63-56 lead with 33 seconds to go. After two misses by Dickinson from the three-point range, Fitzgerald was fouled and made both free throws to push the lead to 65-56 with 11 seconds remaining. The Red Devils scored to make it 65-58 with five seconds left, but Mitchell hit both from the line to make it 67-58 with four ticks to go and provided the final margin.

Fitzgerald was one of five WC players to tally double figures in points. Kile had 12 points, O’Donnell added 11 points, while Pledger and Tait added 10 points. Tait and O’Donnell both handed out four assists to lead the team.

O’Donnell is excited about her team’s great playoff chances; however, they are staying focused. “This late in the season, and being in the position that we are for the playoffs, we really are just taking it one game at a time. We can’t look too far ahead because every game from here on out is really important. All in all though we just want to enjoy this exciting time for us, have fun, and give it our best shot.”

Come support the Shorewomen as they host Gettsyburg on Saturday at 2 p.m.

February 11, 2011
Volume LXXXI Issue 14

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