George Fox tops Mary Washington
Bruins make first national semifinal appearance since 2009
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – With Hannah Munger scoring 19 points inside and their guards hitting 10 3-pointers from outside, George Fox advanced to their second national semifinal with a 68-45 winagainst Mary Washington on Saturday.
With the win in a battle of unbeatens, third-ranked George Fox improves to 31-0.
George Fox’s opponent in Friday’s national semi-final will be the only other undefeated team left in the tournament, the defending national champion Amherst (31-0). The other semi-final game will pit the Illinois Wesleyan (26-5) vs St. Thomas (30-1).
Munger hit a jumper 20 seconds in before Katie Wimmer’s layup tied it, but Keisha Gordon, the Bruins’ all-time leading scorer, hit back-to-back threes for an 8-2 lead and the Bruins were on their way.
A three by Dacia Heckendorf gave George Fox its first 10-point lead of 18-8 with 10:26 left in the half, and another three Jami Roos made it 21-10 at the 8:20 mark, the Bruins’ largest lead of the period. The Eagles twice trimmed their deficit to five points, the second at 23-18 on a jumper by Carol Dye with 4:12 to go, but an 8-2 run, capped by a trey from Arianna Mohsenian, enabled the Bruins to lead 31-21 at the half.
Wimmer hit a layup to open the second half to bring the home team within eight at 31-23, but that was as close as they would get. Munger hit two baskets around a layup by Megan Arnoldy as the Bruin lead grew to 14 at 37-23 with 16:48 to play. Mary Washington made one final effort to get back in the game as threes by Jenna McRae and Amanda Witmer drew them within nine at 48-39 with 9:18 remaining, but it was their last gasp.
In two minutes, the Bruins erupted for 11 unanswered points, Gordon hitting a three and Roos a pair from downtown, to balloon the lead to 20 points at 59-39 with seven minutes left. Roos eventually gave George Fox its largest lead with 17 seconds left on two free throws that made it 68-43.
George Fox could not have been more consistent, hitting .500 (12-24) from the field in the first half and .560 (14-25) in the second for a final .531 mark (26-49). On threes, the Bruins shot .545 (6-11) in the first half, .500 (4-8) in the second, and .526 (10-19) for the game. Mary Washington was held to a .327 percentage (18-55) from the floor and only .200 (2-10) from long range. It was only the third time all season a team had scored 50 points or more against Mary Washington, the national leader in scoring defense. The Bruins also held a 35-28 advantage on the boards.
Munger posted her second consecutive double-double, 13th of the season, and 38th of her career with 19 points on 9-12 field goals and 10 rebounds, along with five blocked shots. Roos scored 16 points, including four three-pointers, and Gordon added 14 points, with a trio of threes. Arnoldy, Mohsenian, and Gordon passed out three assists, and Gordon made two steals.
McRae and Wimmer led the Eagles with 12 points each, and McRae had a team-high five rebounds. McRae handed out four assists, and Wimmer made three steals.