Emmanuel downs King's (Pa.)
O’Dwyer notches game-high 24 points to propel Saints
AMHERST, Mass. -- Fiona O’Dwyer poured in a game-high 24 points on 11-for-17 shooting to lead Emmanuel to a 67-56 NCAA tournament victory against King’s (Pa.) at LeFrak Gymnasium on Friday night.
Extending its win streak to 13 games, Emmanuel improved to 25-6 overall and 16-17 in NCAA tournament play. King’s closes out the year with a 24-6 record after dropping just its second game in 15 outings.
Trailing 5-2 after a Celia Rader 3-pointer from the right corner, O’Dwyer knocked down a jumper from the elbow to cut the Emmanuel deficit to one. Taking its first lead on a Lena Negri basket at 11:36, the Saints netted six consecutive points, building a 12-7 advantage on a Chenae Earle layup.
Ashley Davies ended King’s dryspell with a bucket at 10:11, but another 6-0 Emmanuel spurt, capped off by a Meghan Kirwin layup stretched the lead to 18-9.
After Marissa Manning ended the Saints’ string of six consecutive points with a free throw at 6:34, Katlin Michaels drove the lane for two, notching the Lady Monarchs’ first field goal in nearly five minutes. Rader then hit a runner in the paint before a Samantha Simcox layup suddenly pulled King’s back within two.
With Manning tying the game on a three-point play with 2:28 left in the frame, Kirwan scored the game’s next four points to kick-start an 8-2 run to close out the half as Emmanuel headed into the locker room with a 27-21 lead.
Hoping to carry their momentum into the second, the Saints opened up the scoring with an O’Dwyer baseline jumper, but Manning tallied five of the game’s next six points to pare the Emmanuel lead to four. Simcox made it 30-28 on the Lady Monarch’s ensuing possession, but a Breanna Ockimey trey from the right wing helped keep a surging King’s attack at bay.
Up six after a Kirwan layup at 15:18, O’Dwyer hit a turnaround jumper from just above the free throw line before finishing on the fastbreak to extend the margin to 42-32.
With King’s later down 12, Michaels drained a triple to bring the Emmanuel lead back under double-digits. Continuing to climb back into the game, the Lady Monarchs forced turnovers on three consecutive Saints possessions, cutting the deficit to 49-45 on a pair of Simcox free throws.
Needing to respond, O’Dwyer ended a 5:58 field-goal drought with a jumper just under the seven minute mark, pushing the lead to 51-45, but King’s continued to surge forward, mounting an 8-1 run to tie the game at 52-52 on a Manning free throw.
Still tied with just over three and a half to play, Emmanuel's Laura Benvenuto buried a three from the left wing, spurring an 11-2 run that carved out a 65-56 edge on a Negri layup with just 36 seconds remaining.
Kirwan fell just two assists shy of a triple double, netting 18 points, while pulling down 12 boards and dishing out eight assists. Negri chipped in with nine points and nine rebounds, while Ockimey finished with eight points and four steals.
Manning had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead King’s, while Simcox had 13 points, nine boards and seven steals.