March 23, 2013

NCAA
#8 Vanderbilt  60,  #9 Saint Joseph's 54

WNIT
Fordham  58, Boston University 44
Bowling Green, 61, Duquesne 54

#8 Vanderbilt  60,  #9 Saint Joseph's 54
STORRS, Conn. (AP) -- Vanderbilt kept its composure after losing a double-digit second-half lead to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Tiffany Clarke had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Commodores (21-11) to a 60-54 win Saturday over ninth-seeded Saint Joseph's.

Jasmine Lister added 14 points for the No. 8 seed, which will play either top-seeded Connecticut or No. 16 seed Idaho on Monday night.

''It was ugly, but the first round, first game, usually is,'' said Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb. ''In the end we made some clutch baskets down the stretch.''

Chatilla van Grinsven scored 14 points, all in the second half, for Saint Joseph's (23-9). Natasha Cloud and Ilze Gotfrida each chipped in 10.

Vanderbilt led most of the way and was up 40-30 after Lister's 3-pointer with 15:54 to play.

Saint Joseph's would not go away, tying it at 48 on a layup by Van Grinsven with 6:48 to go. She had six points in the 8-0 run that closed the gap.

''I tried to give it everything I had my senior year, my last game,'' Van Grinsven said.

But Heather Bowe's driving layup gave the Commodores the lead back, and Vanderbilt held it down the stretch.

Van Grinsven cut the deficit back to two twice after offensive rebounds. But Lister's driving layup with 40 seconds left made it 58-54, and Van Grinsven fouled out with 28 seconds remaining.

''At that point, the game was going really, really fast and everybody was scrambling everywhere,'' Lister said. ''So it was a key that we all came together.''

Van Grinsven came in averaging 15 points and 10.5 rebounds but picked up two fouls less than 3 minutes into the game. She sat on the bench for the rest of the first half.

Gotfrida made up for her absence, coming off the bench to score eight of the Hawks' first 15 points.

The teams were tied at 25 before Vanderbilt went on an 8-2 run to close the half.

The Commodores outrebounded St. Joe's 47-32, a key because neither team shot well. Vanderbilt was just 22 for 59 from the floor but held the Hawks to 19 baskets in 55 attempts.

''They made a run, but we regrouped and we had confidence in ourselves,'' Clarke said.

Vanderbilt is playing in its 14th straight NCAA tournament despite an injury-plagued season that forced Balcomb to use seven different starting lineups. Saint Joseph's was making its 12th NCAA tournament appearance, but its first since 2000. The Hawks beat top-seeded Dayton in the Atlantic 10 semifinals and won the championship game by a point over Fordham.

The game was the 127th in the career of Saint Joseph's guard Ashley Prim, tying Michelle Baker's school record.

Vanderbilt advanced to the second round of the tournament for the 13th time in the past 14 seasons but has been to the Final Four just once, in 1993.

Fordham  58, Boston University 44
BRONX, N.Y. -
The magic just keeps on coming for Fordham. The Rams downed the Terriers of Boston University 58-44 in the Rose Hill Gym on Saturday, clinching a spot in the Sweet 16 of the WNIT and giving the 2012-2013 Rams the second-highest win total in program history.

The Rams will face the winner of tomorrow's game between James Madison and NC State. Date and time of that game are not yet determined.

Fordham featured three scorers in double figures on the day, as Marah Strickland scored a game-high 14, while Erin Rooney and Arielle Collins chipped in 12 apiece. Samantha Clark registered nine points and six boards for the game.

Collins got Fordham on the board early, sinking a pair of free throws to put Fordham up, 2-0, 1:30 in the game.

After the Terriers scored six unanswered to take 6-2 lead, the Rams offense ignited. A trio of treys highlighted a 15-2 Rams run, as the women of Rose Hill took a 17-8 lead with 13:28 to go in the half. Strickland nailed a pair of threes and Clark scored four points on the run.

A Kristen Sims three-pointer ended four scoreless minutes for the Terriers, and BU kept the deficit within seven before Charlotte Stoddart nailed a baseline jumper to make the score 21-12 with just under nine minutes left in the half.

BU narrowed the lead to eight, 23-15, on a Chantell Alford three-pointer, but Stoddart responded with her own shot from downtown, pushing the Rams ahead by 11 with five minutes to go until the break.

Alford hit again for the Terriers, narrowing the deficit to nine, but Strickland made a pair from the charity stripe to put Fordham up 28-17 with 1:28 left until halftime.

BU chipped the lead back down to nine before the half, and the Rams entered the intermission with a 28-19 advantage.

The Terriers started off the second half scoring with a Mo Moran layup on their first possession of the period. The Hopewell Junction, N.Y., native scored again on BU's next trip down the court to cut the lead to five, 28-23, under two minutes into the half.

But Clark, who's shown range on several occasions this year, bumped the lead back to eight with baseline three-pointer less than a minute later.

After a Fordham stop, it was Clark again for the Rams, this time scoring on a layup to put Fordham back up by ten, 33-23, with 16:53 to go in the half.

Collins extended the lead to the 12 on a pair of free throws less than 30 seconds later, and Fordham kept a lead in that area over the next several minutes before Kristen Sims nailed a three to pull BU within eight with just over 12 minutes to go.

With 10:24 left in the half, Sims made a layup through contact, but missed the free throw to make it three, keeping the Fordham lead at 41-35.

Strickland drove hard to the basket just over a minute later and banked one in to put Fordham back up by eight, 43-35, with nine minutes left in the half.

The two teams went scoreless for nearly four minutes after that before Rooney drove through the lane and put one off glass, putting Fordham back ahead by ten for the first time in nearly seven minutes.

After a stop on the defensive end, Collins banked a layup after an ankle-breaking step back reminiscent of Kyrie Irving to give Fordham a 47-35 lead with just under five to go.

Four straight free throws from Collins over the next minute gave the Rams their largest advantage of the game so-far at 14 with three and a half minutes to go.

Fordham continued its effort on the offensive end, extending the lead as high as 17 over the game's closing minutes and closing out the contest with a 58-44 victory.

Abigail Corning finished the game with a packed stat line for the Rams, scoring six points, grabbing six boards and dishing out four assists.

Bowling Green 61, Duquesne 54
BOWLING GREEN , Ohio -
The Duquesne women's basketball team's season came to an end on Saturday evening after falling to Bowling Green 61-54 in the second round of the WNIT.

Vanessa Abel scored 14 points for the Dukes who end the season 24-8. Wumi Agunbiade added 12 and Orsi Szecsi 11. Jill Stein scored a game-high 16 off the bench and Jillian Halfhill recorded 11 points for the Falcons who will play the winner of Drexel and Harvard.

In the first half, DU held BGSU to just two field goals in the first 10 minutes and jumped out to a 15-8 lead. Bowling Green would come back with seven straight points to tie the game at 15-15 at 8:30.

A desperation 3-pointer by Stein as the shot clock expired gave the Falcons its first lead of the game at 22-21. However, the lead was short-lived as Agunbiade and Belma Nurkic made back-to-back 3-pointers followed by a Stasia King layup which made the score 27-22 with 43 seconds left.

Allison Papenfuss closed out the first half scoring with a 3-pointer to send the game into halftime with DU leading 29-25.

All but seven seconds of the second half was a two-possession game with one tie and three lead changes. With Duquesne leading 38-36, Stein hit her second 3-pointer of the game to put Bowling up by one point at 10:59. The Dukes would recapture the lead on the next possession on an Agunbiade layup. DU would hold the lead for next 3:21 until Stein's layup made the score 43-42 in favor of BGSU. With the score tied at 45-45, Stein's jumper with 5:12 to play put Bowling Green up for good.