Colby-Sawyer WBB Advances to NAC Championship Game

More news about: Colby-Sawyer

CASTLETON, Vt. – February 24, 2012 –The Colby-Sawyer women's basketball team advanced to the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Championship game after defeating Husson, 74-67 in overtime, in semifinal action at Glenbrook Gymnasium on the campus of Castleton.

Colby-Sawyer, who improves to 21-6 and is in its first season with the NAC, will play top-seed Castleton on Saturday at 2:00 pm with a trip to the NCAA Tournament on the line. Castleton advanced after defeating fifth seed Maine Maritime, 73-51. Husson falls to 16-11.

Trailing 61-50 with 5:11 left to play in the game, the Husson Eagles rallied to tie the game at 64-64 for the first time since the score was 2-2. Husson junior Kelli Murray (Shawmut, Maine) hit a three-pointer with :38 to go, capping the 14-3 run. Husson forced a turnover with less than 30 seconds to play, but could not convert at the buzzer as the game went to overtime.

Colby-Sawyer junior Sammi Lehr (Cohasset, Mass.) began the overtime session the way she began the game, with a layup. She converted the three-point play after getting fouled pushing the advantage to 67-64. Husson got one point back when senior Amanda Gifford (Lee, Maine) went 1-2 at the free throw line. A pair of jumpers by Colby-Sawyer put them in front for good. Colby-Sawyer held Husson to one field goal in the extra session, while Colby-Sawyer made three.

NAC Player of the Year, Taylor DeSanty (North Adams, Mass.) led all players with 29 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Junior Sammi Lehr (Cohasset, Mass.) went 5-5 for 12 points and added eight rebounds. Freshman Kelsey Cahill (Cumberland, R.I.) chipped in with 11 points and nine boards, while junior Cailin Bullett (Millbury, Mass.) added 10 points.

The Eagles were led by senior Amanda Gifford's (Lee, Maine) 17 points. Junior Kelli Murray (Shawmut, Maine) recorded a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Stephanie Comstock (Bangor, Maine) added 12 points and seven boards off the bench. All-NAC First Teamer Brianna Hanscom (Mattawamkeag, Maine) scored 10 points, including 6-7 from the free throw line.

Husson scored the first two points of the game on a pair of free throws by Amanda Gifford. The Eagles made a habit of getting to the line in the opening frame as 10 of the team's first 18 points were from the charity stripe.  The Chargers were able to hold a lead throughout the first 20 minutes by doing most of their work inside the paint. Colby-Sawyer jumped out to a 24-13 lead with 8:05 left, forcing Husson to call a timeout. After the Eagles regrouped, they quickly got back into the game on a 9-2 run capped by sophomore Stephanie Comstock (Bangor, Maine) layup. Colby-Sawyer's Taylor DeSanty scored the Chargers' final nine points to lift them to a 38-30 advantage at the break. DeSanty scored 15 to lead all scorers, while Gifford led Husson with 11 first half points.

Colby-Sawyer, who entered the game ranked 11th in the nation with 7.5 made three-pointers per game, shot 2-16 from beyond the arc. The Chargers held a slim 45-40 edge in rebounds but made them count as they outscored Husson 22-9 in second chance points.