Larsen Hits Late Free Throws to Clinch Women's Basketball's 62-60 Victory at F&M
LANCASTER, Pa. – Sophomore Elle Larsen hit two free throws in the final seconds to give the Swarthmore College women's basketball team a 62-60 win over Franklin & Marshall in Centennial Conference action Saturday afternoon.
Larsen – with the game tied at 60 – went to the line with 6.4 ticks remaining in the game. She connected on both attempts to give Swarthmore (9-1, 5-0) its first victory over Franklin & Marshall (4-7, 1-5) since January of 2010. She went 9-for-10 at the charity stripe and collected 19 points in the game, including 10 points in the first half.
Katie Lytle, also pacing the Garnet, tied the game at 60 with her second trey of the game as the clock showed 53.3 remaining to play. In 35 minutes of playing time, she put up 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
With the victory, the Garnet remains unbeaten in Centennial Conference play (5-0) and equals its win total (9) from the entire 2011-12 season.
The Diplomats claimed an early 4-0 lead, holding the Garnet offense scoreless for the first three minutes of the game. Larsen sunk two free throws to knot the score at 4, followed by a three-pointer from Eliza Polli, forcing an early Franklin & Marshall timeout at the 15:21 mark. The re-group proved to be unsuccessful as Swarthmore continued to maintain the lead.
Franklin & Marshall regained the lead around the midway point, 19-15, and held onto it until the 5:37 mark when Larsen hit back-to-back layups to reignite the Garnet. Fueled by back-to-back treys from Kayla Moritzky and Polli, Swarthmore finished the half on a 10-0 run to take a 38-27 lead at the break.
Swarthmore climbed ahead by 15 points in the early minutes in the second frame with buckets from Moritzky and Ross. Kristina McCarthy closed the gap to nine points, 46-37, at the 13:23 mark, but the Garnet responded with a three-pointer and bucket from Lytle and a jumper from Larsen to reclaim the 15-point margin.
The Dips caught fire at the 11:45 mark, using a 15-0 run to go ahead 55-52 with 5:47 to play. During that stretch, Alexa Barbush converted on a three-point opportunity and hit two jumpers, collecting seven of her 16 points in the game. Emily Wetz hit the go-ahead shot with a three-pointer at 6:28 followed by a jumper a minute later for her only points in the game.
Along with Barbush's 16 points, she grabbed five rebounds, handed out seven assists and swiped a team-high four steals. McCarthy collected 11 points and 10 rebounds for the game's lone double-double. Off the bench, Sam Plunkett had 12 points and two assists.
Swarthmore, having won its last three Centennial Conference victories in the final seconds, will return to Tarble Pavilion on Tuesday, January 8th against conference foe Johns Hopkins in hopes to uphold its unblemished league record. The tip-off is set for 4:00 p.m.