McDaniel Rallies in Final Minute to Shock Women's Basketball, 77-76
WESTMINSTER, Md. - In yet another last-second nail-biter involving the Swarthmore College women's basketball team, homestanding McDaniel went on a 9-1 run over the game's final 1:37, erasing a 15-point second-half deficit to stun the Garnet 77-76 on Tuesday evening from the Gill Center.
Sophomore Katie Lytle led all scorers, tying a career-high with 22 points. Freshman Elle Larsen netted a career-high 21 points with a team-high eight rebounds. Sophomore Kayla Moritzky recorded her first career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 11 assists.
The Garnet (3-2, 1-1) appeared to have its second Centennial win locked up, leading the Green Terror 75-68 with 1:37 to play before things began to unravel. McDaniel (4-1, 2-0) trimmed the lead to 75-70 following a lay-up with 1:19 to play and got the ball back with :57 remaining after Lytle missed the front end of a one-and-one. On the ensuing possession, the Green Terror cut the lead to 75-73 following a three-pointer from Allie Eader with :31 seconds to play. After senior Brittany Schmelz hit one-of-two foul shots to extend the Swat lead to 76-73, McDaniel found the equalizer on another three-pointer, this one coming from Emillee Bosley with :20 seconds to go.
With the game tied 76-76, Swarthmore turned the ball over on its next possession, setting the Green Terror up for the improbable win. With :08 seconds to play following a Swat foul, McDaniel's Steph Perez hit one-of-two free throws, putting the Green Terror up 77-76. Swarthmore's last attempt came from Moritzky, but her last-second shot fell just short, giving the Green Terror the win.
It came down to the wire yet again for the Garnet, which has now played in three-consecutive one-point games. For the season, four of the Garnet's five games have been decided by two points or less.
In the first half, Swarthmore played some of its best basketball of the early season. The Garnet offense came out scorching hot, exploding for 42 first-half points on 47 percent shooting.
Swarthmore jumped to an 11-2 lead, fueled by buckets from Lytle, Polli, Moritzky and Larsen.
Swat maintained its advantage over the Green Terror over the next eight minutes of play, leading 33-26 with 7:38 remaining before beginning another big run. Over the next four minutes, the Garnet outscored McDaniel 9-0 to build a 42-26 with 3:56 to play in the half, fueled by four points from Lytle and senior Genny Pezzola's second three-pointer of the game. Swarthmore's sizzling offense finally cooled down over the final four minutes of the half, as the Green Terror was able to trim the Garnet's lead to 42-30 at the half.
The Garnet maintained its strong play into the second half, building a 15-point lead with less than 12 minutes to play before the Green Terror began its comeback.
Junior Eliza Polli finished with nine points on three treys.
The Swarthmore defense forced a season-high 30 turnovers with 16 steals.
Swarthmore returns home to face No. 13 Muhlenberg on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.