December 30, 2012

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS RALLIES FOR 56-54 WIN OVER WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM

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WBB vs. St. Thomas Aquinas - 12/30/12



Syracuse, N.Y. – Bianca Kowgios made a lay-up with 32.9 seconds remaining to give St. Thomas Aquinas the lead en route to a 56-54 come-from-behind win over the Le Moyne College women's basketball team on Sunday afternoon in non-conference action at Ted Grant Court.

Sophomore forward Emily Greer (Corry, Pa./Corry) registered her third double-double of the year with a career-high 18 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman forward Maggie Brown (Cortland, N.Y./Cortland) recorded her second double-double with 12 points and a career high-tying 12 rebounds (six offensive). Sophomore guard Alex Marple (Wellsboro, Pa./Wellsboro) was the third Dolphin to score in double digits with 11 points.

Kowgios finished the game with eight points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals. Shpresa Liharevic led the Spartans with a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds (seven offensive). Sara Oliveira posted 11 points, while Sabrina Eggink pulled down 10 rebounds.

The teams traded points over the opening 7:03 of the game, leading to a 13-13 tie. Five Dolphins scored in the span, led by four points by Brown, while three Spartans accounted for the 13 points, including six by Liharevic.

After two minutes of scoreless action, the Dolphins rattled off 11 straight points over the next five minutes and 22 seconds. Marple ignited the run with a lay-up, Brown followed with two free throws, Greer hit her second three-pointer of the game and sophomores Tessa Pucello (Syracuse, N.Y./Solvay) and Maddie Hahesy (Erie, Pa./McDowell) followed with baskets in the paint.

Eggink made a jump shot with 4:02 left to end a span of 8:55 without a field goal for the Spartans, while Liharevic followed with a lay-up to pull St. Thomas Aquinas within eight points with 3:11 remaining.

The Dolphins countered with six of the half's final eight points to take a 32-20 lead into the intermission. Marple had three of the points, while Brown had two and Greer had one.

Le Moyne tallied 12 of the first 20 points of the second half to extend its lead to 44-28 with 14:43 remaining in the contest. Greer led the run with five points, while Hahesy added a three-pointer and Brown and senior guard Torie Lee (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) made baskets. Kowgios had four points in the stretch for the Spartans.

After Greer made a free throw to give the Dolphins a 45-30 lead with 14:00 left, the Spartans recorded 10 straight points to cut their deficit with 10:15 remaining. Ashley Motrechuk started the run with a three-pointer, Liharevic followed with a lay-up, Kowgios made two free throws and then Oliveira nailed a three-pointer.

Greer answered with five straight points to push Le Moyne's lead back to 10 points with 7:57 left. Her jumper with 8:37 to go ended a span of 6:06 by the Dolphins without a field goal and 5:23 without a point. Just under the eight-minute mark she nailed a three-pointer from the left wing for a 50-40 lead.

St. Thomas Aquinas responded with eight consecutive points to cut its deficit to just two points. Motrechuk began the comeback with a lay-up, Liharevic followed with a lay-up, KC Sokolski then made a lay-up and Oliveira capped the streak with a jumper with 4:54 remaining.

Brown hit a jumper with 3:55 left to push Le Moyne's lead back to two possessions, but Oliveira countered 75 seconds later with a three-pointer to pull STAC within 52-51. Marple then made a lay-up from the left side with 2:09 left, but that marked Le Moyne's last points of the game.

Alexis Breheny, who missed her first six shots of the game, knocked down a pull-up jumper from just above the right elbow with 1:51 left to make the score 54-53. After the teams traded missed shots and the Dolphins committed a turnover, Kowgios made a driving shot from just off the right block with 32.9 seconds left to give her team the lead for the first time since the 13:32 mark of the first half.

After a St. Thomas Aquinas foul with 7.5 seconds left, Motrechuk blocked a shot by Marple with 5.3 seconds left. Breheny ended the game's scoring by making a foul shot with 2.1 seconds remaining. The Dolphins were unable to get a shot off after Breheny missed the second free throw attempt.

Le Moyne (3-7), which dropped to 3-2 at home this season, closes out non-conference action on Wednesday at Mansfield at 7:00 p.m.