WASHINGTON, D.C. – Pine Manor College women's basketball advanced to the Great South Athletic Conference (GSAC) Championship Game with an thrilling 85-77 victory over tournament host Trinity Washington University at the Trinity Center in Washington DC. The Gators improve to 21-3 on the season, they will play first seeded Salem College on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 PM. The winner of the GSAC Championship game earns the conference's automatic qualifier into the 2014 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship Tournament.
Five different Gators scored in double-figures, led by Alexis Lee's (Akron, Ohio) 20 points. Jayva Johnson (West Haven, Conn.) recorded a double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Ari DeJesus (Providence, R.I.) added 16 points and 9 rebounds, while Natasia Franklin (Windsor, Conn.) and Sybil Lynch (Hoboken, N.J.) each scored 11 points.
Trinity DC's Ashley Brown scored a game-high 21 points for the Tigers and added a game-high 14 rebounds to record a double-double. She was joined in double-figures by four other Trinity players, as Jamila Williams scored 15 points, Blessing Hayes added 14 and Myesha Green and Kishia Jackson each scored 11 points.
The Gators opened the game on a 6-0 run, eventually growing their advantage to nine points, at 14-5, following a layup from Lee with 15:52 to play in the first. A 7-0 run from the sixth seeded Tigers quickly closed the cap to 14-12 just under two minutes later. The Tigers would then tie the game at 19-all thanks to a jumper from Shelby Swan at the 11:53 mark of the first.
A three-pointer from Johnson would put Pine Manor back out in front on the Gators next possession but Trinity again countered as the teams exchanged baskets before becoming deadlocked for a second time, at 28-all, with 8:49 to play.
With the score tied, DeJesus put the Gators ahead by three, before Hayes knocked down a layup and Brown hit two free-throws to give Trinity their first advantage of the contest. Trinity would grow its lead to as big as five points before taking a 40-38 advantage into halftime.
Trailing since the 5:25 mark of the first, the Gators retook the lead with 16:27 to play. The Gators held the advantage until the 6:49 mark of the second when Trinity took a one-point advantage thanks to three-pointer from Jackson.
However, the Gators again countered on their next possession, as Lynch knocked down a three-pointer to put the Gators ahead for good. Leading 68-66 with 6:32 to play, Pine Manor grew its advantage to nine points over the next five minutes. The Gators led by ten points in the closing minutes of the game before taking the 85-77 victory.
The Gators will take on Salem College in the GSAC Championship game tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 PM .The Spirits advanced to the final by defeating Me.-Presque Isle 71-47 in the first semifinal of the day.
Sat, March 1, 2014
by Miles Roberts