Women's Basketball Clinches Playoff Berth; Down Shorewomen 66-58
CHESTERTOWN, Md. – The Swarthmore College women's basketball team (17-5, 13-4) made history with its 66-58 win over Washington College (10-12, 8-9) on Wednesday evening, clinching a spot in the Centennial Conference Playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign.
The Garnet was led by sophomore Elle Larsen's 23 points – matching her career-high - and 12 rebounds in addition to three blocks and three assists. Senior Madeline Ross also fueled Swarthmore's offense, adding 17 points in her return to the starting lineup. Junior Kayla Moritzky added 11 points for the Garnet.
The Garnet was dominant defensively in the first half, holding the Shorewomen to 24% shooting from the field and 14% from beyond the arc. Swarthmore struggled to capitalize on the defensive effort largely due to seven first half turnovers.
The game see-sawed back and forth through the first 20 minutes of play, but the Garnet managed a 28-25 lead at half.
The Shorewomen made a push in the second half, led by junior Latisha Pledger with 15 points and freshman Ashley Espinoza with 12 points. The Garnet offensive responded, shooting 44% from the field in the second half. Despite ten different players scoring, Washington College was unable to overcome a 2-18 (11%) night from the beyond the arc.
Larsen scored 16 of her 23 points in the second half, and junior Katie Lytle added 10 rebounds for the Garnet in the clinching game.
Swarthmore returns to the court on this Saturday hosting Franklin & Marshall. The game – also Senior Day – is set to tip-off at 1 p.m.