Late rally lifts William Paterson
WAYNE, N.J. – No. 17/19 William Paterson (26-3) scored eight of the game’s final 10 points to overcome Colby (22-6) for a 58-53 win in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship March 5 at the William Paterson University Recreation Center.
The Pioneers advance to the NCAA Tournament Sectionals Friday, March 11, against #16/17 Lebanon Valley, a 73-56 winner against Randolph-Macon in a second-round contest March 5. The site of the next round has yet to be determined. This marks William Paterson’s fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament sectionals round in program history, and the first since 1998 (1995, 1997, 1998, 2011), while the victory broke the program’s previous record for single-season wins established during the 1997-98 season (25-4) and matched a year ago (25-3).
Trailing by one at 51-50 after Colby’s Rachael Mack sank a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the 5:52 mark, William Paterson sophomore Lindsey Callander tracked down a teammate’s miss and found freshman Dana Jeter, who knocked down a jumper from the right elbow to nudge the Pioneers ahead (52-51, 4:42). Aarika Ritchie found the bottom of the net with a jumper from inside the paint for the Mules on their next possession (53-52, 4:23), but sophomore Tatiana Javis answered right back for William Paterson, driving down the lane and converting a layup at the right block to hand the Pioneers a 54-53 edge with 4:03 to play.
Ritchie’s 3-point attempt from the left corner was long and rebounded by Jeter, who was fouled by Colby’s Diana Manduca, her fifth personal, with 3:29 remaining. The two teams then combined to miss the next eight field-goal attempts and turn the ball over twice during the next 2 minutes, the last a rebound of a Ritchie jump shot that Borova got her finger tips on to swipe over to Javis for the defensive rebound with 1:30 on the clock.
Javis missed on the other end, but William Paterson’s BriAnna Lucas pulled down the rebound and was fouled. The 82.4 percent free-throw shooter made both attempts at the free-throw line for a three-point lead (56-53) with 1:07 to play.
Ritchie went for the tie with another 3-point attempt from the left corner, but this one was long and snatched away by Borova with 45 seconds left. With the shot clock winding down, Pioneer junior April Smith put the ball on the floor and headed toward the basket, pulling up in the lane for a jumper. With less than 20 seconds remaining, her shot was off and the ball was batted about in the paint until the 5-foot-6 Callander made one of the biggest plays of the game, tracking down the rebound in front of the William Paterson bench and just inches from the sideline. Head coach Erin Monahan immediately called a timeout with 11.6 seconds showing on the clock. Down three with time slipping away, Colby was forced to foul immediately after the inbounds pass, and Lucas sank both to make it a two-possession game at 58-53 with 10.2 seconds left. A desperation shot from the right sideline as time expired was off the mark, allowing the Pioneers to celebrate the five-point win.
Lucas scored 18 of her game-high 22 points in the second half for the Pioneers. She added five rebounds and two steals. Borova just missed a double-double with nine points, a game-high 10 rebounds, and three steals. William Paterson managed a 43-38 rebounding advantage against the much-taller Mules, outscoring Colby 18-7 on second-chance points and 28-20 in the paint.
Senior Julianne Kowalski led Colby with 16 points and four steals, while Mack had 14 tallies and nine rebounds, and Ritchie posted 13 points and a game-best six assists.
The two teams went toe-to-toe for most of the opening 20 minutes, combining for six ties and four lead changes during the first half. Kowalski’s jumper gave the Mules a 15-9 edge, their largest of the half, with 12:05 on the clock, but a Borova runner in the lane, a Callander 3-pointer and a Borova trey from the top of the key handed the Pioneers a 17-15 advantage at the 10:44 mark.
Each team twice took a lead during the next 7:40, only to see the opposite side knot the score, until Ritchie converted a layup in the lane to nudge the Mules ahead, 27-25, 1:39 before the break. She added an old-fashioned three-point play on Colby’s next possession (30-25, 1:09), and after Smith converted a layup for the Pioneers (30-27, 0:43), sophomore Jayde Bennett was 1-for-2 at the line with eight seconds left to finish the scoring and hand the Mules a 31-27 halftime lead.
Colby’s advantage twice grew to six during the first 2 minutes of the second half, but William Paterson came right back with a Lucas layup and trey, cutting that lead to one (35-34, 17:18). The Mules put together a 7-3 mini-run during the next 3 minutes, a spurt capped by a Mack bucket and free throw (42-37, 14:07), but Smith was fouled and made both attempts from the charity stripe during the Pioneers’ next possession (42-39, 13:54). Callander later added a layup (42-41, 12:23) before a 1-for-2 trip to the line by Borova tied the game at 42-42 with 11:45 remaining.
All square at 44-44 with 10:32 on the clock, Lucas drained a 3-pointer from the right corner off an inbounds pass from Callander (47-44, 9:29), and Smith knocked down a jumper from the free-throw line 30 seconds later. Javis later added the front end of a one-and-one, and the Pioneers were ahead by a 50-44 count with 8:07 to play.
Bennett pulled up for a six-footer in the lane for Colby (50-46, 7:49), the start of a 7-0 run that eventually gave the Mules the lead. Mack went 2-for-2 at the line at the 7:02 mark (50-48), and her trey from the top of the arc made it a 51-50 Colby advantage with 5:52 remaining in the contest.