Women's Basketball News & Highlights
January 23, 2014
Late Run Undoes Eagles in Freedom Test
For the first 31 minutes, things were going very well for the host Eagles in the battle of the top teams in the Freedom Conference standings. Eastern took care of the basketball early and was able to limit second shots in pulling out to a 16-9 lead midway through the first period.
As they did in the second half, the Devils put together a burst of made 3-pointers shortly after the midway point. Leigh-Ann Lively made three from distance in a 17-3 run over a four minute stretch. FDU led 25-19 with 5:38 to play in the half, but the Eagles responded with a 6-0 run on an Emily Lavin jumper and a 3-point play from Meghan Nowak.
The teams exchanged points to close the half with FDU holding a 29-28 lead at the break. Nowak led all scorers with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting. The junior forward also gathered eight of her game-high 13 boards in the first half. The Devils shot only 29.7 percent in the opening half, but they forced 13 turnovers and grabbed five offensive rebounds to get 13 more attempts at the rim than the host Eagles.
Eastern stayed in the game in part because they were able to keep the Devils from capitalizing on those turnovers. FDU scored only 7 points on turnovers as the Eagles were able to limit transition opportunities for the first twenty minutes.
The two teams battled neck-and-neck through the first 12 minutes of the second period. FDU tried to go inside after Lavin cut a four-point lead in half with a pair of free throws, and Lavin was there to block the lay-up attempt. The freshman forward had five blocks on the night to lift her season total to 42. She has 24 of those in the last five games. Lavin secured the rebound, but her outlet pass was errant and the Devils made their decisive run.
Lively hit the first long-distance shot and seconds later Jalessa Lewis converted another steal into a 3-pointer. After Delisha Thompson made a lay-in to force an Eastern timeout, the Devils scored two more 3-pointers on long-range efforts from Kyra Dayon and Lively. Lively finished with a game-high 22 points on 5-of-10 3-pointers. Dayon, the reigning Freedom Conference Player of the Year finished with 16 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and three assists.
Kaleigh Boreman stopped the bleeding with a 3-pointer, but the Eagles were unable to make headway into the FDU advantage over the final five minutes of action. Gina DiDomenico scored 13 second-half points to finish with 16 points. She and Nowak finished tied for team-high honors. Boreman had nine points on three 3-pointers. Lavin had 11 rebounds to go with her five blocks and seven points.
Most of the Devils 15 points off turnovers in the second half came in the decisive 90 seconds of the game.
The Eagles (9-7, 4-1 Freedom) return to action Saturday at DeSales University in another important Conference test.
Updated: Thursday, 23 January 2014