Bullets Tame Lions, Advance to NCAA Second Round

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MONTCLAIR, N.J.  Albright College erased a double-figure deficit in the first half to seize the lead in the fourth quarter, but 22nd-ranked Gettysburg College roared back over the final minutes to pull out a 74-65 victory in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship inside the Panzer Athletic Center on the campus of Montclair State University.
Gettysburg (26-2) advances to the second round of the national playoffs for the first time since 2010. The Bullets will face host and 16th-ranked Montclair State (24-3), which defeated SUNY Old Westbury (23-4) 90-69 in Friday's second game. Gettysburg will take on the Red Hawks at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Senior Emily Gibbons (Annapolis, Md./Severn School) carried the offensive load early for Gettysburg and finished with 21 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Ashley Gehrin (Chester, N.J./West Morris Mendham) scored 17 points, including a clutch three-point play with 49 seconds remaining. Junior Emma Dorshimer (Jenkintown, Pa./Jenkintown) added 14 points – all in the second half.
Gibbons out-scored Albright (20-8) by herself 11-9 in the opening quarter of play. The Lions trailed by as many as 13 in the second quarter as the Bullets continued to knock down shots. Gettysburg hit 12-of-20 (60 percent) field goals in the opening half.
Turnovers by Gettysburg and second-chance points brought the Lions back into the game. Albright whittled the deficit down to six (35-29) by halftime before jumping in front for the first time with three minutes left in the third quarter.
The two teams entered the fourth period tied at 49, but the Lions wasted no time seizing the advantage as Zaria Mohamed grabbed an offensive board and put it back in the hoop to start the frame. Albright took a five-point lead (56-51) on an old-fashioned three-point play by Alysha Lofton with 7:29 on the clock.
Gettysburg went on an 8-0 run with Gibbons posting the first five and Dorshimer knocking down a three-pointer to make it 59-56 with 3:58 to play. Albright came right back with a three-pointer by Nina Mazzarelli and a lay-up by Lofton to seize a 61-59 lead with 3:04 left.
The Lions would go on to miss their final four shots and commit a pair of turnovers in the final three minutes of action. The Bullets took advantage as six consecutive points by Dorshimer and a free throw by Gibbons made it 66-61 with 1:11 left. After a pair of free throws by Mazzarelli cut the margin to three, Gehrin swooped in from the left wing for the hoop and the harm to push the advantage back to six (69-63) with only 49 seconds left.
The Bullets knocked down 5-of-6 free throws over the final 41 seconds to seal the win.
Mazzarelli led Albright with 15 points. Mohamed and Loften tallied 14 and 12 points, respectively, while Jane Joyce recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.
Dorshimer broke the program's  mark for three-pointers made in a season with her first bucket of the night in the third quarter. The junior now has 63 on the year, surpassing the previous mark of 60 set by Dana Bear '04 in 2002-03.
Senior Kendra Meredith (Boyds, Md./Northwest) picked up eight points and five assists for the Bullets, while sophomore Emma Hahner (Forest Hill, Md./C. Milton Wright) turned in six points and six rebounds.
Albright out-scored Gettysburg in points off turnovers (20-12) and second-chance points (13-2). The Lions finished with a 39-31 edge on the glass. Gettysburg finished 23-of-48 (47.9 percent) from the field and hit 22-of-29 (75.9 percent) free throws. Albright finished 24-of-65 (36.9 percent) from the floor.
Ticket prices for Saturday's game are $7 for adults and $4 for students, senior citizens, and children. All spectator parking is in the Red Hawk Deck.  Exit at level 2 and proceed down the hill to Panzer Athletic Center. There is a fee for parking.
Saturday's game will feature live video and live stats.