Moravian Falls to Medaille, 77-68, in ECAC Division III South Championship Game
BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The top seeded Medaille (N.Y.) College women's basketball team had three players score over 20 points including a 21-point, 17-rebound effort by senior Tanisha Travis, the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, to lead the Mavericks to a 77-68 victory over second seed and host Moravian College in the 2012 ECAC Division III South Tournament Championship game Sunday afternoon in Johnston Hall.
The Greyhounds, who end their season at 17-12, shot just 27.3 percent from the floor in the opening half and trailed by 11 points, 39-28, at halftime before out-scoring Medaille in the second half. The Mavericks conclude the season at 24-5 and captured their first-ever ECAC South title. Moravian is now 2-3 all-time in ECAC South championship games.
Moravian jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead on a jumper from senior forward Alexandra Blair and a lay-up by sophomore guard Katie O'Rourke. However, Medaille scored the next nine points to take 9-4 lead on a jumper by sophomore guard Joelle Pollak with 16:14 to play in the first half. Blair would snap a four-minute scoreless streak for the Greyhounds with a jumper at 15:38 to cut the Mavericks' advantage to 9-6.
Medaille pushed its lead to 15-10 with 13:15 to play before the intermission on a lay-up from Travis; however, Moravian ran off seven straight points, tying the contest on a three-pointer by sophomore guard Danielle Brogan and taking a 17-15 lead on two free throws from sophomore guard Alyssa Hann. The Mavericks answered with four straight points, taking a lead they would never relinquish on a pair of free throws by Pollak with 8:23 to go in the opening half.
The Greyhounds trailed by just two points, 23-21, after another Brogan three-pointer at the 7:02 mark, but Medaille would run off 13 straight points to take a 36-21 lead on a jumper from junior guard Brittney Rowland at the 3:43 mark. Sophomore forward Laura Jordan would finally score for the Greyhounds after another four-minute scoring drought, but a three-point play by Travis sent the Mavericks to the locker room with a 39-28 lead.
Medaille was 14-for-31 from the floor (45.2 percent), five-for-eight behind the three-point line and six-for-eight at the foul line in the opening 20 minutes of action. The Mavericks also had a 23-22 edge in rebounds in the first half while committing 13 turnovers. The Greyhounds made just nine-of-33 field goal attempts (27.3 percent), two-of-seven three-pointers and eight-of-ten free throws in the first half and had 12 turnovers.
Blair started the second half with a quick basket as Moravian would get the deficit back under ten points but a three-pointer from Pollak gave the Mavericks a 46-30 lead with 18:10 to go. The Greyhounds ran off seven straight points with senior guard Hilary Murray connecting on a three-pointer to cut Medaille's lead to 46-37 with 16:07 remaining.
The Mavericks took a 50-37 lead on two-free throws by freshman forward Morgan Howe with 14:28 clock but Medaille would not score for another five minutes. During that stretch, Moravian scored ten points to cut the deficit to three-points, 52-49, on two free throws by Hann.
Freshman guard Alicia Montalvo would push Medaille's lead back to double digits at 11 points, 62-51, with 6:34 to play. Moravian answered 9-2 run to cut the deficit to four points, 64-60, on a pair of Blair free throws with 4:09 remaining. However, that would be as close as the Greyhounds would get as Montalvo hit her fourth three-pointer of the game to stop Moravian's momentum.
The Mavericks were 12-for-26 from the field (46.2 percent), four-for-nine on three-pointers and ten-for-14 at the foul line in the final 20 minutes, and Medaille finished the game with a 46-38 edge in rebounds. The Mavericks did commit 26 turnovers while Moravian had just 28 turnovers. The Greyhounds shooting improved in the second half as Moravian made 15-of-36 field goal attempts (41.7 percent), one-of-six three-pointers and nine-of-ten free throws.
Blair scored a career high 25 points in her final collegiate game to finish her career with 1,065 points, 18th in school history. Blair also had five rebounds and five blocked shots to raise her career totals to 723 rebounds, sixth in the school record books, and 317 blocks shots, the school record, in 112 career contests.
Junior guard Amanda Kreuder tossed in 11 points for the Greyhounds and added a career high eight rebounds to go with three steals and a pair of blocked shots while Hann had ten points, four assists, four steals and two boards. Jordan added seven points, five rebounds and two assists for Moravian while Brogan had six points. O'Rourke finished with four points while Murray had three points, three steals and two assists in her final collegiate game. Freshman forward Alexis Wright was limited to two points but she did grab six rebounds for the Greyhounds.
Travis had five blocked shots, three assists and three steals to go with her double-double to lead Medaille. Montalvo had a career high 21 points to go with seven rebounds, two assists and two steals while Pollak tossed in 20 points and added eight rebounds and three assists. Senior guard Meghan Dougherty contributed seven points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Mavericks while Howe finished with six points. Rowland had two points and four assists for Medaille.