Late Free Throws Lifts Women's Basketball Over Gettysburg, 53-52
GETTYSBURG, Pa. – With five seconds remaining, junior guard Katie Lytle hit a pair of free throws to give the Swarthmore College women's basketball team a 53-52 victory over Gettysburg College Saturday afternoon in Centennial Conference action . The Garnet uphold an unblemished record at 7-0 (4-0 CC), while the Bullets fall to 4-4 (3-2 CC).
In a complete game, Lytle went 8-for-9 at the charity stripe, contributing a game-high 20 points and 16 rebounds for the Garnet. She also had three assists and swiped five of Swarthmore's nine steals in the game. Freshman Jessica Jowdy, off the bench, registered a career game with 19 points. Jowdy hit a game-high five three-pointers and collected two steals. Sophomore forward Elle Larsen grabbed 11 rebounds, including five from the offensive glass.
Jessica Porter led the Bullets with 17 points and Cori Younghans added 14 and three assists in the losing effort. Jenna Swope gathered 10 rebounds, while Rianna Doane had four steals.
With just over four minutes remaining in the game, Swarthmore had a 51-41 lead after a three-pointer from senior Eliza Polli. The Bullets, holding the Garnet offensive scoreless, fought back over the next two minutes led by Porter with four points. At 1:59, Gettysburg pulled with one point after Emily Duggan went 1-for-2 at the charity stripe. Both teams remained scoreless until Younghans clinched the go-ahead point, 52-51 for the Bullets with 16 ticks on the clock. Larsen went up for the game-winning layup with six seconds left – missed – Lytle snagged the offensive rebound and was fouled to stand at the charity stripe with two shots and five seconds remaining.
The Garnet, having led at halftime in six of seven games this season, held a 27-18 advantage going into the break at Gettysburg. Swarthmore maintained the lead for all but two minutes in the first frame, including a 11-point margin, 21-10, at the 4:13 mark after a good three-pointer from Jowdy.
Kayla Mortizky began all scoring, grabbing an offensive rebound to collect on the second-chance opportunity with a good layup. No scoring would occur for nearly eight minutes until junior Elizabeth Casey hit a shot from beyond the arc to put Swarthmore in front 5-0 with 11:40 remaining in the first stanza. Gettysburg finally got on the board a minute later with a jumper from Swope and continued on a 6-0 run for its only lead of the half. The Garnet responded with its own 6-0 run – Lytle went 4-for-4 at the free throw line – to regain the lead.
Swarthmore held slight advantages in second chance points (13-11) and points off the bench (22-21), while Gettysburg had the clear advantage with points in the paint (28-16).
The victory is the first for Swarthmore at Gettysburg since defeating the Bullets 60-44 in the 2003-04 season.
In the last four games, Swarthmore have defeated its opponents by a scoring margin of eleven points or less, including the last two games with scoring margins three points or less.
Swarthmore will take a break for the holiday season, returning to action on New Year's Day at the Naismith Classic. The Garnet faces Springfield College at 1:00 p.m. The consolation and championship games are set for the following afternoon.