MADISON (NJ) – The Delaware Valley University women's basketball team took three-time defending champion FDU-Florham to overtime but ultimately fell short by a 68-64 margin in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Freedom semifinals on Wednesday.
The third-seeded Aggies fell to 13-13 and will await a potential ECAC tournament bid. The second-seeded Devils improved to 20-6 and advanced to the MAC Freedom Championship Game at the top seed DeSales University on Saturday, February 27.
Graduate student Eireann Anastasi tied the game with a layup with four seconds on the clock. FDU-Florham's buzzer-beater attempt was no good and the teams went to overtime tied at 62. Freshman Morgan Mitchell put DelVal ahead with a free throw (3:04). Shalette Brown missed a jumper but Fernanda Reyes made a putback for a 64-63 Devils lead (1:28). Freshman Danielle Skedzielewski missed on consecutive layups and Alyssa McDonough had two free throws to make the score 66-63 (0:39). Senior Kelsey Kilpatrick had a foul shot with 25 seconds to go and the score was 66-64. Raven Dowling clinched the win with a pair of free throws at the 14-second mark. The Aggies lost Anastasi with 3:53 to go in the period when she fouled out.
DelVal was in control for most of the first half. The teams were tied at four with 6:18 to go in the opening quarter. The Aggies then finished the period with a 13-4 run. Junior Sam Foy had six points, Anastasi sank a three and Skedzielewski and Mitchell both made jumpers.
In the second, FDU-Florham cut the deficit to four (17-13) with 7:41 on the clock. The Aggies led 22-17 with 5:54 left before the Devils closed out the half with a 14-5 rally for a 31-27 advantage at the break. Brown sparked the charge with six points, McDonough followed with five and Danielle Leguillou drilled a triple. Anastasi paced all scorers with 12 points in the first half followed by Brown and McDonough with 10 apiece. Both teams shot effectively from the field, with DelVal posting 46 percent and FDU-Florham shooting 44 percent. The Devils controlled the glass by a 19-11 margin.
In the second half, FDU-Florham led 38-31 with 6:41 remaining in the third quarter. DelVal then went on a 13-2 run to go ahead, 44-40 with 1:28 on the clock. Anastasi had six points, freshman Brianna Rivello made a three and Foy and Kilpatrick each posted two points. However, the Devils responded with a 12-2 surge for a 52-46 advantage into the fourth quarter (6:53). Brown scored eight of the points and McDonough and Reyes had two apiece. DelVal was down six with 2:55 to go and finished the period with eight of the last 10 points, including Anastasi's tying layup.
Brown had 26 points and 21 rebounds for FDU-Florham. McDonough followed with 20 points and Rachel Groom brought down 15 rebounds. The Devils outrebounded the Aggies by a 51-27 margin.
Anastasi ended the contest with 22 points to up her career total to 1,719, second all-time. She is also second with 418 assists, seventh with 227 steals and seventh with 161 three-pointers. Foy had 16 points and seven rebounds. Rivello posted 13 points. The Aggies shot 45 percent from the field.