Shooting Woes Cost Mids in Loss
WASHINGTON, D.C. –– On a night when both teams struggled from the field, the free throw line proved to be the difference in Friday’s women’s basketball game that ended with American defeating Navy, 46-41, at Bender Arena in Washington, D.C. The Eagles (10-4, 3-0 Patriot League) connected on 12-17 free throw attempts in the game –– including an 8-10 showing in the fourth quarter –– while the Mids (11-3, 1-2) ended the night going 6-6 from the foul line.
“I think anyone in attendance tonight would say that was a really ugly game,” said Navy head coach Stefanie Pemper. “Neither team shot well. Both teams are really familiar with what the other was doing. In the end, the difference was American got to the foul line and made some free throws in the fourth quarter.”
Navy held a 22-15 lead at halftime, but American scored on each of its first four possessions of the third quarter to take its first lead of the game at 24-22. The remainder of the stanza saw the score tied twice more and the lead change hands a pair of times. It ended with the Eagles clinging to a 38-37 lead.
Navy opened the scoring in the fourth quarter with a pair of made field goals to regain the lead at 41-38 with 7:16 left on the clock. From there, however, the Mids would go 0-10 from the field over the course of the rest of the game without making a trip to the foul line.
American’s offense struggled even more than Navy’s as the Eagles did not make a shot in the entire fourth quarter (0-5). The Eagles converted 8-10 attempts from the foul line in the final frame to earn the victory.
Both teams made 16 field goals in the game –– Navy was 16-54 (29.6%), American 16-52 (30.8%) –– and the Mids held a 3-2 edge over the Eagles in three-point field goals made.
“It was another game where we shot really poorly,” said Pemper. “Their (American’s) defense was solid; it was better than our offense. Some of that is coaching and some is preparation and some is the players.
“American definitely pushed us into some tough shots. We weren’t always getting good shots. We talked about some of the adjustments we needed to make but we didn’t always execute. American was down two of its top six players for illness, and we were down our top freshman in Sophie Gatzounas (Fr., South Hadley, Mass.). It is a game we have to find a way to play better and pull out.”
Navy led American 39-37 in rebounds but the Mids ended the game on the short end of the turnover contest, 17-14.
Laurel Jaunich (So., Charlotte, Vt.) scored a Navy-best 10 points and added six rebounds. Taylor Dunham (Sr., Fort Belvoir, Va.) scored eight points and Hannah Fenske (Sr., Albuquerque, N.M.) totaled eight rebounds, five points, three assists and two steals.
Navy will be back in Alumni Hall Monday night when the Mids play host to Colgate at 7 p.m.