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Women's Basketball News & Highlights

February 12, 2013

Eagles Nipped by No. 22 FDU

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Kaitlyn Dougherty made 4-of-6 field goals and 7-of-8 free throws in the second half. She finisnhed with 20 points.

ST. DAVIDS, Pa.- By halftime of tonight's home game against FDU, the Eastern Women's Basketball Coaching staff knew that they were most likely in the playoffs and in all-likelihood locked into the fourth seed. The Eastern women, however, played the second half against league-leading FDU-Florham like their playoff lives were on the line. The Eastern rally, however, came up just short, and the visiting Devils (22-2, 12-1 Freedom) held on for a 64-63 win.

In what has become a recurring trend at home games, the Eagles were slow coming out of the gate. Eastern did not score until Reilly Gavitt converted a Kaitlyn Dougherty pass on a back door cut with six minutes already gone. The No. 22 Devils had a 10-2 lead and built that edge to 15-5 before the Eagles started to chip away.

Unlike several games in recent history, the Eagles did not have a massive run in response, but rather ground away at the FDU lead. Kaleigh Boreman buried a big 3-pointer with 6:19 to play to cut the FDU deficit to four. Eastern finally tied the game at 24-24 on a tough elbow jumper from Gina DiDomenico. The sophomore guard had to pivot away from pressure and was able to  square her shoulders and make the shot despite having her legs not quite underneath her. 

FDU outscored the Eagles 5-2 over the final 3:30 to take a 29-26 lead to the break.  The Eagles had four players record multiple field goals in the first half. Meghan Nowak led the way with six points and seven rebounds. Delisha Thompson had eight at the break for the visitors. 

At King's, the host Monarchs were up 23 on Misericordia at the break. A King's win secured a playoff spot for Eastern. King's would go on to win 78-56 to ensure that Misericordia could not finish ahead of Eastern in the standings. Eastern (10-14, 6-7 Freedom)  by virtue of its home win against DeSales, will have the tiebreaker regardless of Saturday's results.

FDU built its lead to 53-46 with seven minutes to play in the contest. Dougherty then scored the next six Eastern points, and Nowak made a pair of free throws to cap an 8-2 run. Dougherty scored 16 of her team-high 20 in the second half. The Devils, however, had an answer, Kyra Dayon scored to stop the Eastern run. The sophomore guard scored 16 of FDU's final 20 points and finished with a game-high 26. 

Every time, the Eagles closed the gap, it seemed that Dayon made shots. Dayon put FDU up four with a pair of free throws with just over a minute to play. Dougherty answered with a whirling full-court attack and finished while being smacked in the head for a 3-point play. 

Dayon again answered with a 15-footer against pressure. After both teams had empty possessions, the Eagles had a chance to tie the game on a Nowak 3-pointer with less than 12 seconds to play. The shot rimmed off, but Dougherty was there to put in the rebound with six seconds to play.

Trailing 61-60, the Eagles fouled Kara Dayon on the first pass into the court. Kyra's twin hit the first and missed the second. Nowak and Kyra Dayon battled for the rebound, and Nowak was called for her fifth in the scuffle. Kyra Dayon made both to give the Devils a two-possession lead at 64-60 with just under five seconds on the clock.

The Eagles executed a perfect inbounds play (One made famous by Bryce Drew in Valporaiso's 1998 NCAA Tournament win over Ole Miss) Riley Gavitt caught the long heave from Boreman and hit Dougherty in stride. Dougherty connected on the three pointer, and the shot went through with .5 seconds to play, but the Devils were able to inbound the ball for the 64-63 win.

Dougherty's 20 point effort was her fourth game with 20 or more in the last five. The sophomore guard also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out six assists. Gavitt finished with 12 points, and DiDomenico had 10. DiDomenico made two more 3-pointers to close to within three makes of Tiffany Henry's mark set in 2004. Nowak was held to single digit scoring for just the second time this year. She battled through foul trouble to finish with nine points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

Dayon led the way for FDU with 26 points and 10 boards. Rachel Groom finished with 15 points and 8 rebounds.

The Eagles wrap up their regualr season on Saturday at DeSales and will travel to FDU for the Freedom Conference Semifinal next Wednesday. DeSales beat Wilkes in other Freedom Conference action tonight to secure the third spot. DeSales will play at King's.

Box Score

Updated: Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Coaches

Nate Davis

Nate Davis

Coach Davis earned Freedom Conference Coach of the Year Honors in 2011-12.

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