Burton paces Johns Hopkins with 31
Senior ties Blue Jays’ postseason scoring record in win
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Senior Lyndsay Burton poured in a career-high 31 points to lead Johns Hopkins past Richard Stockton 76-68 in the opening round of the NCAA Divisoin III Women's Basketball Tournament on Friday evening at the Freeman Center on the campus of Christopher Newport University.
The win marks the first NCAA Tournament victory for the Blue Jays since 2004. Hopkins will face 12th-ranked Christopher Newport, an 81-62 winner against York (Pa.) in the other first-round game at CNU on Friday night.
Burton proved why she was named the Centennial Conference Player of the Year as she torched the Ospreys with a wide array of short jumpers and post moves on her way to her second career-high scoring output in the last three games. Her 31 points also ties the JHU NCAA Tournament single-game scoring record, set by Julie Anderson in 1998.
The Blue Jays never trailed in the contest, jumping out to early leads of 10-4 and 18-7 less than eight minutes into the game.
Stockton then reeled off nine consecutive points to pull within 18-16 after a pair of free throws from sophomore Aspen Price-Perry at the 9:08 mark of the first half.
The Ospreys whittled the JHU to one at 25-24 with just under five minutes remaining in the opening stanza, before Hopkins closed out the half on a 10-0 run – with eight of the 10 points coming from Burton – to take an 11-point advantage at the break.
Hopkins began the second half by outscoring Stockton 20-11 to take its largest lead of the contest at 55-35 with under 10 minutes on the clock.
Despite the large deficit with time dwindling down, Stockton continued to hang around by applying some full-court pressure and forced Hopkins into seven turnovers over the ensuing six minutes of play. The Ospreys put those turnovers to good use on the other end as they cut the JHU lead to single digits (61-53) at the 4:58 mark with an 18-6 run to keep the game within reach.
The Blue Jays increased their lead to 10 with 3:12 remaining after a reverse layup from junior Stephanie Fong, but Stockton sophomore Che’Na Thompson kept the pesky Ospreys alive. She started with a step-back 3-pointer from the right wing, a nearly identical step-back jumper from same spot and a 3-pointer from the top of the key on the next three Stockton’ possessions to pull the Ospreys within six (69-63) for the first time since the 3:33 mark of the first half with just 1:31 remaining.
With time winding down on the shot clock on Hopkins’ next trip down the floor, Fong split two defenders, dribbled into the paint and hit a running floater with 1:01 left to all but seal the win for the Blue Jays.
Burton paced Hopkins with 31 points and seven rebounds on 11-18 shooting from the field and a perfect 9-9 mark from the free throw line. Her 11 field goals and nine free throws both rank second in Hopkins NCAA Tournament history.
Junior Chantel Mattiola posted a well-rounded effort with 14 points, six assists, four boards and two steals, while Fong also reached double figures with 12 points. Sophomore Alex Vassila was a force on both ends of the floor for Hopkins with 12 points, eight rebounds and a JHU NCAA record four blocks in the win.
Price-Perry paced Stockton with 21 points, Thompson notched 13 points, five boards, four assists and three steals and junior LaTonya Oliver added 13 points, five rebounds, three blocks and three steals.
Hopkins returns to action against Christopher Newport on Saturday, March 5 at 5 p.m. in the Freeman Center.