Pace bounces Holy Family
Setters head to the third round for the third time
WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Setters of Pace University posted their highest point total of the season as they eliminated the Tigers of Holy Family University 89-72 in the NCAA Division II East Region Semifinals hosted by Bentley University. The Setters improve to 24-8 and advance to East Region championship game at 6 p.m. ET Tuesday. Holy Family ends the season at 24-5 overall.
This will be Pace's third trip to the third round and the second in head coach Carrie Seymour's career at Pace. The Setters last trip to the Sweet 16 was in 2001 when Pace won the East Region and advanced to the Elite Eight.
The Setters started out shooting cold as they opened the game shooting 1-for-6 from the field, while Holy Family would build a 13-5 lead throughout the first 6 minutes of action. Pace would find their shooting touch as they hit 12 of their next 19 shots and used a 21-4 run during a 6-minute stretch to take control of the game with a 26-17 lead with 8:43 left in the opening half.
Pace would later rip off a 10-2 run as Brittany Shields hit a hoop and Lisa Welsome drained a pair of free throws. These were capped off by a pair of trifectas by Brittany Huggins which gave the Setters a 36-22 lead with 4:22 left in the half. Holy Family battled back to trail by eight but a Shields' basket and a three-point play by Carol Johnson pushed the Pace lead back to double figures at 41-28 at the 2:08 mark. The Tigers would close the gap in the final minute but Pace would head to halftime with a 44-32 advantage. Huggins led the Setters with 11 points in the opening half.
The Tigers would open the second half strong as they would close the gap to within eight points at 57-49 with 12:13 remaining in the game. The Setters would answer and push the lead back into double figures to control the game the rest of the way. Holy Family briefly got the score to single digits as they trailed by nine twice but Pace would head to the free-throw line, hitting 11-of-14 from the charity stripe in the final two and a half minutes to lock up the victory and advance to the East Region Finals.
The Setters had four players score in double figures led by Huggins who finished with 24 points. Shields recorded 20 points and seven rebounds, while Johnson tallied 11 points, seven rebounds and a game-high eight assists. Maral Javadifar totaled 13 points and four boards.