WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A furious second half rally fell short as Pine Manor College women's basketball was defeated by Salem College, 82-72 in the Great South Athletic Conference (GSAC) Tournament Championship Game on Sunday afternoon at Trinity Washington University's Trinity Center in Washington D.C. Salem earns the GSAC's automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship and will make the school's first ever appearance in the tournament.
Pine Manor ends the season with a 21-4 record, the most victories in program history for one season.
Salem senior Satavia Taylor (Chicago, Ill.), the Tournament Most Valuable Player, scored 14 of Salem's first 20 points, giving the Spirits a 20-13 advantage midway through the first half. The 2013-14 GSAC Player of the Year, Taylor scored 20 of her game-high 27 points before halftime, while also grabbing a game-high 15 rebounds to record a double-double.
Salem owned the boards in the contest, out-rebounding the Gators 56-43, including a 20-15 advantage on the offensive glass.
Taylor was one of four Salem players in double figures. Quantashea Lewis (Hartford, Conn.) added 19 for the Spirits while Jasmine Shabazz (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Tiffany Wildgoose (Nassau, Bahamas) added 11 and 10 points respectively.
Freshman Jayva Johnson (West Haven, Conn.) scored a team-high 22 points for the Gators. Alexis Lee (Akron, Ohio), 14 points, Natasia Franklin 13 points and Maria Vaughan, 10 points, all finished in double-figures for Pine Manor. Ari DeJesus collected a team-high 13 rebounds and added eight points.
Salem's 45-30 halftime advantage was the largest of the game for either team and it proved to be too much for Pine Manor to overcome in the second half.
Despite outscoring the Spirits 42-37 after the break, the Gators only came as close as 63-62 following a pair of free throws from Natasia Franklin with 6:39 remaining in the contest.
Salem now awaits the opponent and destination for their NCAA First Round matchup on Friday March 7.
Sun, March 2, 2014
by Miles Roberts