McDaniel finds love in final minutes

CHESTERTOWN, Md. – Ali Moreland (Davidsonville, Md./South River) netted a game- and career-high 24 points to lead McDaniel to a 77-68 Centennial Conference (CC) women’s basketball victory at Washington (Md.) on Saturday.

            The Green Terror (13-10, 11-6 CC) tallied 15 of the game’s final 18 points, including finishing the game on a 9-0 to break a 68-all deadlock with 3:05 to play to move into second place in the CC standings with one week to play.
            Sally Grace (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales Academy) contributed a season-best 17 points, including hitting four of her five attempts from behind the arc. Meredith Larsen (Phoenix, Md./Bryn Mawr) and Ashley Lyles (Laurel, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
            Brianne Slizofski and Jane O’Donnell led the Shorewomen (10-13, 5-11 CC) with 18 and 17 points, respectively.   
            Trailing 65-62 on a pair of O’Donnell free throws with 4:46 to play, Lyles put back a Kim Staub (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic) miss 21 seconds later to start the McDaniel comeback.
            Staub hit a jumper on the Green Terror’s next possession to give her team a one-point advantage and Larsen converted off one of Moreland’s four assists to stretch the lead to 68-65 with 3:20 showing.
            O’Donnell canned a 3-pointer on Washington’s next possession but those would be the Shorewomen’s final points.
            Laren hit a jumper with 2:38 to play to spark the 9-0 run to the finish.
            Kim Action (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) added a pair of free throws at the 1:51 mark before Grace hit a layup and converted a single free throw and Moreland hit on two from the charity stripe in the final minute.
            A Jessica Jamrogowicz 3-pointer gave the Shorewomen a 3-0 lead 1:23 into the contest but the Green Terror got nine straight points from its forwards to grab a 9-3 lead with 15:08 remaining in the first half.
            Clinging to a 15-14 advantage midway through the opening stanza, McDaniel reeled off a 10-2 burst over a 2-minute, 14-second span to grab a nine-point lead. Grace capped the stretch with back-to-back triples.
            Washington countered with a 14-4 stretch of its own to take a 30-29 edge on a Meghan Tait trey with 4:29 to play in the half. The Shorewomen pushed the lead to as many as five en route to a 36-35 halftime advantage.
            A Moreland steal-and-layup gave McDaniel a one-point lead 16 seconds into the second half but Washington tallied 12 of the game’s next 14 points to grab a 48-39 lead with 15:55 to play.
            Trailing 61-55 on two Tait free throws with 8:20 remaining, Lyles hit two free throws of her own and Grace buried a 3-pointer to pull the visitors within one 1:29 later.
            Two Moreland free throws at the 5:38 mark turned the one-point deficit into a one-point lead but four straight tosses from the charity stripe by Slizofski and O’Donnell gave the hosts the edge once again.
            Moreland added five steals to her 24 points and four assists. Lyles added three assists and three blocked shots.
            Coupled with the other results from Saturday, the Green Terror is positioned for its eighth consecutive CC playoff berth after the victory. McDaniel holds a half-game lead on four other teams deadlocked at 10-6 for third place. Four of the five teams with six losses will make the CC tournament. With the right combination of results on Wednesday, the Green Terror could clinch a berth before its finale at Gettysburg on Saturday.
            McDaniel returns to action at Goucher on Thursday. Game time is 7 p.m.