Women's Basketball Edges Gettysburg In OT, 71-68, To Earn First-Ever Trip To Elite Eight
AMHERST, Mass. – First-year point guard Allanah Wynn (Quincy, Mass.) hit four huge free throws in the final 37 seconds of overtime to lead the Babson College Beavers to a thrilling 71-68 victory over the Gettysburg College Bullets in the Sectional Semifinals of the 2010 NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament at Amherst College on Friday night.
With the win, Babson (28-3) advances to the Sectional Finals (Round of 8) for the first time in the 36-year history of the program. Meanwhile, Gettysburg sees its magnificent season come to a close with a record of 24-5.
The Beavers, who extended their program-record winning streak to 20 games, will now play host and number-one ranked Amherst in the Section Finals on Saturday at 6 p.m. The winner of that game will move on to the National Semifinals at Illinois-Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois next weekend.
Babson was led by another brilliant performance from sophomore forward Nicki Wurdeman (Rowley, Mass.), who shot 9-for-14 from the field to finish with 21 points and 10 rebounds. First-year center Sarah Collins (Weymouth, Mass.) tacked on 15 points, six boards, and three blocked shots, Wynn finished with 13 points, five rebounds, and four assists, and junior forward Damisi Adewumi (Bronx, N.Y.) chipped in with 10 points off the bench. Although she finished with only six points, forward Kathleen King (Framingham, Mass.) came up big for the Beavers with four assists and eight rebounds, including two pivotal offensive boards on missed three throws in the final 16 seconds.
Gettysburg was led in defeat by junior guard-forward Caitlin Moser (Wyomissing, Pa.), who finished a stellar performance with 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting to go with eight rebounds. The loss by the Bullets also marked the end of the outstanding careers of senior forward Courtney Fields (Baltimore, Md.) and senior point guard Allie Drechsler (Westminster, Md.). Field scored 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting to close out her brilliant career with 1,206 points – good for seventh on the Bullets’ all-time list – while Drechsler picked up a game-high four steals to finish her career with the program’s all-time mark of 228 thefts. Sophomore forward Julie McGrory (Moorestown, N.J.) chipped in with 15 points and sophomore forward Sarah Kinsley (Fairfield, Conn.) added 12 in defeat for the Bullets.
A closely-played first half featured several quick runs for both sides. Gettysburg used a 6-0 burst that featured two lay-ups by Moser and another by Fields to turn a 5-4 Babson lead into a 10-5 Bullets’ advantage. Gettysburg later increased its lead to six at 14-8 following a jumper by Fields with 12:30 to go in the half, but the Beavers responded with a 6-0 run of their own – highlighted by a pair of long jumpers by Adewumi – to tie the contest at 14-14 at the midway mark of the period.
The Bullets once again scored six straight to move back in front, 20-14, with just under six minutes to go, but Babson responded in kind, firing off a 10-2 run that was capped by Adewumi’s second three-pointer of the season, as the Beavers grabbed a 24-22 lead with 2:43 left in the session. Fields then drained her second trifecta of the game with 40 ticks remaining to give Gettysburg a 25-24 edge at the break.
Babson came out firing early in the second half, opening the period with a 10-2 run to take a 34-27 lead with 17:23 left. Junior captain Becky Bowman (Melrose, Mass.) scored all six of her points during the spurt, including back-to-back lay-ups in transition off feeds from Wynn.
The Beavers took the largest lead of the game for either team when Collins hit a foul-line jumper to give her team a 45-37 cushion with exactly 11 minutes on the clock. However, Gettysburg came storming back with a 14-2 run over the next five minutes to regain the advantage, 51-47, with 6:12 to go. Kinsley and McGrory each scored five points during the burst, while Moser added four.
A fastbreak lay-up by Kinsley gave the Bullets a 56-51 advantage with 4:33 left in regulation, but Collins answered with five straight points and Wurdeman added two more to put Babson in front, 58-56, with 2:30 to go. Moser then hit a clutch runner in the lane to tie the game at 58-58 with 1:29 remaining.
Both teams hit huge shots in the final minute to send the contest into overtime. Collins made a nice spin move and converted a short jumper on the right baseline to give Babson a 70-68 edge with 34.6 seconds remaining, but Moser responded with a tough shot over Collins on the right block to knot the score at 70-70 with 28.5 left. The Beavers then turned the ball over with 21.0 seconds to go to give Gettyburg a chance at the win, but Wurdeman grabbed a big defensive rebound after back-to-back misses to force an extra session.
The two teams traded baskets early in a thrilling overtime period that featured three ties and four lead changes. After a Moser free throw gave Gettysburg a 65-64 lead, Wurdeman converted an offensive rebound and put-back to put the Beavers up, 66-65, with 1:54 on the clock. McGrory followed with a clutch three-pointer from the top of the key to give her team a 68-66 edge with 1:19 remaining, but those would prove to be the Bullets’ final points of the contest as Babson closed with a 5-0 run.
After Wurdeman hit one of two from the line to pull the Beavers to within one, Wynn rebounded a missed lay-up at the other end and drew a foul. The rookie point guard then knocked down both ends of a 1-and-1 to give Babson a 69-68 advantage with 36.4 seconds remaining.
Wynn went back to the line for another 1-and-1 after rebounding a Gettysburg miss with 16.4 seconds left, but her first shot missed. However, King grabbed the offensive rebound to retain possession for the Beavers, and Wynn quickly drew another foul and sank two more freebies for a 71-68 Babson lead with 12.8 on the clock.
McGrory got a good look at a three from the top of the key with under five seconds remaining, but the potential game-tying shot missed and Collins secured the board. After drawing an immediate foul, the rookie forward missed both free throws at the other end, but King collected another huge offensive rebound and ran out the final 1.2 seconds as Babson claimed the dramatic 71-68 overtime win.