Saturday women: Worth the wait

Chapman's perserverance was rewarded with a SCIAC title as the Panthers beat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in double overtime.
File photo by Larry Newman Photography

The third time was the charm for Marietta against Ohio Northern in the OAC title game, while Chapman, Scranton and Hope won their tournaments in extra periods. Plus East Texas Baptist, Mass-Boston and Oberlin are going to the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever.

After losing a heartbreaker to Ohio Northern a week ago, Marietta cruised past the Polar Bears 85-68 and into the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever. The Pioneers (24-4) jumped out to a 22-11 lead at the end of one period and never looked back, as they hit 13 three-pointers and converted 15 Ohio Northern turnovers into 31 points. Brooke Borich led Marietta with 23 points but she had plenty of help. Shay Lett scored 21 and shot 6-for-9 from three and Amisha Herd registered 17 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Ohio Northern sits on the bubble, hoping for an at-large bid when they are announced with the bracket on Monday afternoon.

A handful of teams that didn't need their conferences' automatic bids to make the NCAA Tournament won them anyway in dramatic fashion.

Leah Hurst scored only five points in Marymount's 61-60 victory over Christopher Newport in the CAC Championship, but the last two won the game. Hurst completed a running bank shot with .3 seconds remaining to make the difference and secure the AQ. Nicole Viscuso had 15 points for the Saints; Anitra Thomas led the Lady Captains with 13.

Scranton edged Juniata 59-58 in overtime to extend its winning streak to 21 games and all but guarantee it will host at least one weekend in the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Royals trailed 50-49 with 21 seconds left in regulation when Bridgette Mann made a jumper to put Scranton in front by one. She then added two free throws to put the Lady Royals in front by three, but Juniata's Dani Atkinson banked in a three with 1.3 seconds left to send the game to overtime. Scranton made six consecutive free throws in overtime to grab a 59-58 lead with 3:41 remaining and neither team scored again.

Hope also put itself in excellent shape to stay home during the NCAA Tournament with a 68-62 win in overtime over Trine. The Thunder jumped out to a 23-10 lead after one period, but Hope rallied back with a strong third period, outscoring Trine 13-4. Hayley Martin put Trine (24-3) in front 60-58 on a layup with two seconds left in regulation but the Flying Dutch (26-1) called timeout to advance the ball, then found Madison Geers for the game-tying score. Neither team scored much in overtime, but Hope scored a litle more and held Trine to one point for the victory.

Illinois Wesleyan's Rebekah Ehresman made two free throws with 1:15 left in regulation to snap a 57-all tie and the Titans finished off Wheaton (Ill.) 62-60 in the CCIW tournament finale. Illinois Wesleyan (24-3) struggled from three, shooting just 2-for-12, but made up for it by forcing 21 Wheaton turnovers. Ehresman led the way with 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

Wartburg didn't need a dramatic finish to complete its perfect run to the NCAA Tournament. The Knights beat Luther 86-74 to improve their record to 27-0 and ensure the Tournament will have at least one perfect team. Katie Sommer had 23 points and 10 assists, breaking her own record for assists in a season at Wartburg with 163.

Amherst will try to join Wartburg by beating Tufts in the NESCAC final tomorrow. In today's semifinals, Amherst defeated Wesleyan 58-31 with Madeline Eck and Jackie Nagel leading the way, scoring 12 points each. Tufts took down #2 seed, Bowdoin 60-48 after the Jumbos hit the boards hard, out-rebounding the Polar Bears 47-34. Jac Knapp played all 40 minutes for Tufts, scoring 16 and grabbing 12 rebounds; Erica DeCandido had 17 and 9. Bowdoin got 13 points from Kate Kerrigan in the loss.

UW-Whitewater secured its 17th trip to the NCAA Tournament and its first as the winners of both the WIAC regular season and conference titles, as the Warhawks topped UW-Oshkosh 68-65. Whitewater (24-3) shot 51 percent (23-for-45) and senior Brooke Trewyn posted another well-rounded box score (12 points, five rebounds, four assists).

Thomas More's final game in the PAC went much like most of its others, as the Saints romped over Washington and Jefferson 93-51 for the conference title. Madison Temple tallied 32 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for Thomas More (26-1) while led 30-7 after one period. The Saints, who went 15-for-33 from three on Saturday, did not lose a game to a conference foe over its last six seasons.

St. Thomas is approaching the same level of dominance in the MIAC as the Tommies won their 54th consecutive game against the rest of the conference with a 62-56 victory over Gustavus Adolphus in the tournament championship game. Playing without All-MIAC center Hannah Spaulding, the Tommies had as many made three pointers (11) as turnovers. St. Thomas' seniors went 78-2 in the MIAC over their four years in St. Paul.

Having already clinched the UAA's automatic bid, Chicago finished a perfect run through the conference with a 96-90 win at home over rival Washington U. Mia Farrell scored 31 points for the Maroons (23-2) who became the seventh team to sweep through the UAA. Rochester put the finishing touches on a resume that all but assures itself an at-large bid with a 66-52 win at home over Emory.

Rose-Hulman also finished a perfect run through its conference when the Fightin' Engineers defeated Transylvania 57-51 in the HCAC title game. Reserve forward Chiarra Franklin scored a team-high 14 points and was named tournament MVP.

Same goes for SUNY Geneseo as the Knights slayed the Red Dragons of SUNY Oneonta 58-52 for the SUNYAC Championship. Junior guard Kelsey Poplawski scored 20 points for SUNY Geneseo which improved to 25-2, including 20-0 against the rest of the conference.

George Fox led Willamette for much of the game on its way to a 60-50 win over the Bearcats in the final game of the NWC tournament. Kaitlin Jamieson notched 15 points and eight rebounds for George Fox (24-3).

East Texas Baptist celebrates its ASC championship and first trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Kim Childress' layup with 11 seconds left was the difference as East Texas Baptist edged Mary Hardin-Baylor 71-70 in the ASC title game. The Tigers (22-6) won the back-and-forth affair that had six ties and 14 lead changes, thanks to 46 percent three point shooting (11-for-24) and a 33-23 bench scoring advantage. Hannah Holt had a double-double (19 points, 10 rebounds) for the Crusaders (23-5) who sit on the bubble for an at-large spot to the NCAA Tournament.

Like East Texas Baptist, Oberlin will make its NCAA Tournament debut on Friday after trouncing Wittenberg 71-39 in the NCAC tournament final. The Yeowomen jumped out to 16-2 lead after one quarter and held the Tigers to 14 field goals. Olivia Canning had 18 points, seven rebounds and six blocks for Oberlin (21-7).

The Corsairs will also need an at-large bid because Mass-Boston broke through against Mass-Dartmouth in the teams' third meeting, winning the Little East Conference title 65-52. The Beacons finished the game on a 15-2 run with freshman Joie Grassi scoring 10 of her game-high 26 points in the first quarter and the go-ahead free throw in the fourth quarter. This will be the Beacons' first official appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Boston State College participated in the innaugural NCAA Tournament in 1982, but there was also a separate Mass-Boston team playing at the same time.

Chapman won the longest game on Championship Saturday as the Panthers clawed past Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 70-61 in double overtime. Chapman nearly won in regulation but Kate Parrish scored the tying basket for the Athenas with seven seconds left in the fourth quarter. Chapman again had a three-point lead in the final minute of the first overtime when Corinne Bogle nailed a three-pointer to send the game to a second extra period. Jaryn Fajardo scored seven of her 25 points in double overtime and the Panthers finally put the game away.

Gettysburg and Haverford only made 13 field goals apiece, but the Bullets also had 15 free throws and won a low-scoring affair for the Centennial title, 44-35. Emily Gibbons, who was named tournament MVP said afterwards, ""This is the coolest thing I've ever felt Coming in as a freshman I always dreamed of hosting the conference championships and having the ability to host in front of a huge crowd and do it with this team is really something special."

The University of New England scored the first seven points of its game against Roger Williams and never looked back on its way to 59-40 win and a sixth consecutive CCC crown. Four of the Nor'easters starters scored double figures, led by Sam MacDonald with 17. Roger Williams has a reasonable chance for an at-large bid, provided it stays in front of Mass-Dartmouth in the last Northeast region rankings.

St. Joseph's (Maine) blew open the GNAC title game with a 25-6 third quarter en route to a 73-59 win over Suffolk. Kelsi McNamara scored 13 points in that period alone and 24 overall. All five Monks starters reached double digits in the victory. Like St. Joseph's, Westfield State won its third conference title in a row when the Owls flew past Framingham State 90-75. Kierra McCarthy had 15 points and seven rebounds for the MASCAC champions.

Stevens took a 13-point lead into the half at St. John Fisher and held on for a 52-47 win in the Empire 8 title game. Megan Brown posted a double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds) for the fifth game in a row and 13th overall for the Ducks (15-12). Cassidy Harrison scored 23 points for the second time in the NECC tournament and Becker rode that to a 60-50 victory over Newbury in the NECC championship.