WASHINGTON, D.C. – Catholic strung together a 16-0 run late in the first half to turn a tie game into a double-digit lead then staved off a McDaniel rally for a 75-63 victory in the championship game of the 2014 ECAC South women's basketball tournament on Sunday.
Emma Wingerd (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) led the Green Terror (21-7) to the runner-up finish with 12 points and 11 rebounds while Lindsey Nichols (Wilmington, Del./St. Mark's) contributed 10 points off the bench.
Emily Grabiak, who was named the tournament's most valuable player, led the Cardinals (22-6) with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Knotted at 24-all, Jayni Webster hit a 3-pointer out of a media timeout to give Catholic the lead for good with 6:48 to play in the first half.
Webster added a three-point play on a fast-break layup before Michelle Desantis also scored on the break to stretch the lead to eight with 5:50 showing.
A Liz Briones fast-break jumper and triples from Webster and Grabiak pushed the advantage to 40-24 with 2:20 to play in the first half.
Nichols hit back-to-back 3-pointers of her own to close the deficit to 10 before Josephine Migash and Wingerd traded buckets in the final minute to make it a 42-32 game at the break.
Karlyn Dixon extended the advantage to 12 just 21 seconds into the second half before the team's traded points over the next nine minutes.
McDaniel got as close as eight during the stretch but Catholic's lead never swelled higher than 12 until Grabiak followed up a Webster layup with a jumper of her own to make it a 59-45 game with 10:11 to play.
Trailing 61-49 with 7:14 to play, Wingerd scored the Green Terror's next six points to key a 9-2 stretch that closed the margin to 63-58 fewer than three minutes later.
Grabiak snapped a 4-minute, 25-second stretch without a field goal with a layup at the 3:12 mark.
Two Brittney Davis (Laurel, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) free throws with 1:44 on the clock made it a 67-61 game but the Cardinals converted all six of their free-throw attempts in the final 1:23 to hold on for the 12-point win.
The teams traded the lead nine times to go with four ties in the game's first 12:44. The Cardinals led by as many as three on three occasions, including at 22-19 on a Melissa Errico layup with 8:59 showing.
The Green Terror built a lead as large as four on one of three Steph Perez (Harrsiburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East) 3-pointers to make it a 19-15 game with 11:03 on the clock.
Perez finished the season with a single-season program-record 72 3-pointers and will enter her senior season needing just 28 points to become the program's 15th 1,000-point scorer.
Allie Eader (Ijamsville, Md./Linganore) finished her collegiate career with three assists in the game to give her 283 for her career, tying Lisa Sullivan for third on the program's all-time list.