Anna Maria Uses Second-Half Rally To Top Gators, 67-64

Box Score

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Anna Maria College outscored Pine Manor College women’s basketball 38-28 in the second half, rallying from a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat the Gators, 67-64, on Thursday evening at Brunelli Court.

Pine Manor sophomore Ari DeJesus (Providence, R.I.) recorded her eleventh double-double of the season, scoring a game-high 25 points and grabbing a game-high 16 rebounds but it wasn’t enough for the Gators, who fall to 14-3 following the contest.

Anna Maria’s Trafficia Warburton (Worcester, Mass.) finished with a double-double for the AMCATS, scoring 19 points and collecting 12 rebounds to help Anna Maria improve to 9-9 on the season. Warburton was joined in double-figures by classmate Katie Pryor (Whitinsville, Mass.), 15 points, and sophomore Lindsay Bond (Webster, Mass.) who finished with 12 points.

Anna Maria took the early advantage in the contest, leading until the midway point of the first half when PMC junior Natasia Franklin (Windsor, Conn.) knocked down a layup to give the Gators a 13-12 advantage. Franklin finished as the only other Gator in double-figures, scoring 14 points and collecting 7 rebounds.

Anna Maria immediately countered, taking back the lead on their next possession when Warburton used a second chance opportunity to retake the lead at 14-13.

Neither team led by more than three points until late in the first half when PMC used a 9-0 run to take a 30-24 lead with 1:15 to go before the half. The Gators led by as many as nine points in the closing minute of the first before taking a 36-29 advantage into the half.

The Pine Manor lead grew to as many as 11 points seven minutes into the half as Franklin converted on another layup with 12:55 to play to make the score 50-39.

Trailing by the largest margin of the game, the AMCATS responded with a 16-1 run, capped by a layup from Warburton with 5:22 to play, to take a 55-51 advantage. Anna Maria would grow the advantage to seven points, at 60-53, with 3:24 to play in the game.

With the Gators trailing for the first time since the 3:44 mark of the first half, Pine Manor scored the next six points, pulling within a point, 59-60, when Maria Vaughan (Okinawa, Japan) made the second of two free-throw attempts.

A pair of free-throws from Warburton increased the Anna Maria advantage to three points before Alexis Lee (Akron, Ohio) hit a game-tying three pointer with just over a minute to play, making the score 62-all.

With the game tied for the fifth time on the night, Anna Maria’s Deja Taitt (Jamaica, N.Y.) hit an acrobatic shoot from the top of the key to give the AMCATS the 64-62 advantage with 32 seconds remaining.

DeJesus was fouled on the next Pine Manor possession and, with the Gators in the bonus, used the opportunity to knock down both throws and tie the score at 64 with 22 seconds left in the game.

With Anna Maria holding for the final shot, Pryor used a high screen to find an open lane to the basket and knock down a layup, giving Anna Maria the 66-64 lead with just six seconds to play in the contest.

With a chance to tie or take the lead, PMC turned the ball over on the inbounds and was forced to foul. Anna Maria’s Taylor Walker (Winchendon, Mass.) only made one of two free throws but the ensuing inbounds pass was intercepted and the AMCATS escaped with the 67-64 victory.

Anna Maria will return to action on Tuesday when they take on Mount Ida at 6:00 PM in Newton, Mass. Pine Manor will look to bounce back on Sunday afternoon when they head to Johnson St.  for a 12:00 noon tip-off.

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