Women's Game Recaps #69 - 2/26/17

* The Northeast-10 Confernece quarterfinals took center stage on Sunday and supplied a pair of upsets, as both #2 seeds lost at home. Both top seeds won but the report starts with the action in the two bracket-busters...

* LeMoyne will play in the NE-10 semifinals for the first time since 2002 (when they lost the title game at AIC) by shocking Assumption in Worcester, 62-54. The Dolphins were boosted by a huge first period, one in which the Greyhounds shot 2-8 from the floor and turned the ball over nine times. A 19-5 lead for LC was the result and they basically held serve in the second quarter to pull into the half ahead, 32-19. AC chipped away and finally put togther an 8-0 surge, featuring a pair of Kelly Carey (17 points, 5-11 3FG) triples, to draw within 41-37 late in the third stanza. They stayed in range and eventually came within a point with 3:04 to go after a Jackyn Storey free throw (50-49) but LeMoyne answered with an 8-0 burst to put the game away. Nicole Riddick (13 points, 11 rebounds) started the run with a basket and McKayla Roberts (16 points, 6-6 FT) drilled a three-pointer right after that to put LC in control and they saw it out from there. Ailayia Demand (10 points) added depth for the Dolphins, who shot 40% and held AC to 33% at the other end. Allison Stoddard (15 points) provided pop for Assumption but they saw a five-game win streak end and face an anxious wait for a possible at-large NCAA bid. LeMoyne, meanwhile, will visit Adelphi in the NE-10 semifinals on Thursday in Garden City.

* St. Anselm overwhelmed AIC in Springfield, 76-53, to reach the NE-10 semifinal round for the first time since 2000, orchestrated by a fine performance from Candace Andrews (26 points, 7 assists, 4 steals). The Hawks established a 23-15 lead at the end of the first period in large part thanks to a 10-3 closing run. They kept the flow going into the second frame and a 10-0 burst, capped by a Clairee Putnam (14 points) trey, made it 44-21. The Yellow Jackets managed to tally the final five points of the half (44-26) yet never managed to stitch together a serious run in the second half and saw their four-game win streak die. Dana Watts (23 points, including the 1,000th of her career;14 rebounds) and Imani Stepney (16 points, 7 caroms) provided the majority of the AIC numbers as they shot just 32% overall and went a mere 1-7 from long-range. Like Assumption, the Yellow Jackets will have to wait and see on a possible NCAA bid. Kaila Duarte (13 points, 12 rebounds) added quality depth for St. A's, who shot a crisp 51% overall and ruled the paint, 44-24. The Hawks travel to Bentley for their semifinal tilt on Thursday.

* Adelphi nearly blew a 21-point lead against Southern Connecticut but posted a big fourth quarter to claim a 69-52 victory in New York and move on to the next round. The Panthers were topped by a quartet of double-figure scorers, including Niajah Morgan (career-high 19 points; 4-6 3FG), Julia Gnieser (14 points), Sierra Clark (13 points, 6 boards) and Calli Balfour (11 points, 14 rebounds, 6 steals). Maria Wesleyj (18 points, 4-8 3FG) and Abby Hurlbert (15 points, 3-6 3FG) sparked the Owls, who scored the first basket of the game. AU scored the next seventeen points (17-2) and eventually crafted a 36-15 edge with 3:03 left in the first half. SCSU ended the half on a 10-2 binge (Wesleyj had eight of the points) and started with the frist seven points of the third frame to cut the lead to 38-32. A flouish at the end of the period (9-0 with two Wesleyj triples as part of the run) and a trey by Wesleyj to begin the fourth quarter put the Owls ahead for the second (and final) time, 44-42. Morgan notched six points in a 7-0 Adelphi response (49-44, 6:00) and they pressed the issue thereafter, leaving the Owls unable to respond. The Panthers excelled at the line in the last quarter (13-16 FT) and iced the win at the line. AU was on the plus side off the glass (46-28) and at the line (21-25 FT; SCSU 4-5 FT) over the course of the contest to aid their cause and will host LeMoyne in the semifinals on Thursday.

* Defending NE-10 champion Bentley smashed Merrimack, 76-43, shooting 53% from the field a sinking 9-13 from three-point range to subdue the Warriors in Waltham. The Falcons snapped a 4-4 tie with a 16-3 bomb and led 22-9 at the end of the first period. They were even more explosive in the second stanza (28-8) and had a hefty 50-17 lead at halftime as a result. MC played Bentley to a standstill in the second half but the damage was done. Lauren Green (19 points, 6-9 FG, 5-7 3FG), Jen Gemma (15 points) and Victoria Lux (14 points) led the Falcon onslaught while Lexi Martin (14 points, 5 steals) and Lindsay Werner (10 points) topped the MC stat sheet. The Warriors shot only 31%, however, and had an assist/turnover ratio of 3/22. Bentley, who enjoyed a 24-10 paint edge and a 24-12 advantage in points-off-turnovers, won their thirteenth game in a row and will try to extend their NE-10 playoff win streak to seventeen on Thursday, when they host St. Anselm in the semifinals.