Johns Hopkins
A. Vassila

Johns Hopkins Athletics

BALTIMORE, MD - In a highly-contested, fast-paced game between two of the top teams in the Centennial Conference, the Johns Hopkins women's basketball team outlasted visiting 19th-ranked Muhlenberg 86-75 in overtime on Monday night in Goldfarb Gym. The Blue Jays improve to 12-3 overall and 9-2 in the conference, while the Mules fall to 10-4 overall and 6-3 in conference play.

With Franklin & Marshall's 71-55 home win against Ursinus on Monday, the Blue Jays now sit alone atop the conference standings as the only team with less than three losses.

Trailing 64-57 with just 1:44 left in the regulation, Hopkins mounted an impressive comeback in the game's final moments to force overtime and eventually secure the win.

Sophomore Alex Vassila grabbed a huge offensive rebound off a missed jumper by senior Lyndsay Burton and followed it up with a layup to pull JHU within five with 1:19 remaining. Vassila made good on another layup just eight seconds later, following a Muhlenberg turnover, to cut the Mules' lead to 64-61.

Freshman Fatu Conteh then intercepted a Muhlenberg pass on the left side outside the 3-point arc and took it all the way in for a layup on the other end to pull the Blue Jays within 64-63 with 49 ticks on the clock. Junior Alexandra Chili missed a 3-pointer on the Mules' ensuing possession and JHU called a timeout with 24 seconds left.

Following the timeout, junior Stephanie Fong made the play of the game as she collected a pass on the left wing outside the 3-point arc, pump faked and drove past her defender towards the hoop. Fong was then bumped on the left edge of the paint about six feet from the basket and threw up an off-balance left-handed shot that trickled on the rim and dropped to give Hopkins its first lead, 65-64, since the 17:59 point of the second half.

Fong then calmly sank the free throw to complete the three-point play and give the Blue Jays a two-point advantage with 16 seconds remaining.

On the other end of the floor Muhlenberg senior Sheila Cook muscled her way into the paint and drilled a short jumper to knot the game at 66-66 with just six seconds left. Hopkins quickly moved the ball the length of the court, where Burton received a pass on the left baseline and had a good look at the basket before time expired, but her jumper bounced off the rim and the game went into overtime.

Junior Chantel Mattiola sank her third 3-pointer of the game to open overtime, followed by layups from Burton and Vassila, as the Blue Jays went on a 7-0 run to begin the extra session and outscored the Mules 20-9 in overtime.

Mattiola notched a career-high 24 points, including several crucial free throws down the stretch, to lead the way for Hopkins. She was a perfect 9-9 from the charity stripe in the game. Burton recorded her fourth straight double-double with 16 points and a career-high tying 16 rebounds.

Vassila totaled 15 points and nine boards for JHU, while senior Siobhan Callanan added 12 points and eight rebounds. Fong put together a well-rounded stat line with nine points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals and was 7-7 from the free throw line.

Chili totaled 32 points - 27 of which came after halftime - to lead all scorers. Junior Kathleen Naddaff added 12 points and six boards for the Mules, while senior Alexandra Berlin also reached double figures with 11 points and six boards.

The Blue Jays return to action tomorrow night at home against Bryn Mawr. Tip-off is set for 7 pm in Goldfarb Gym.