Rally Gives Women’s Basketball Opening Night Win
ANNAPOLIS, Md. –– The Navy women’s basketball team rallied from a 14-point third-quarter deficit to defeat Marist, 77-70, Friday night at McCann Arena in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The game served as the season opener for both squads.
“It was a super exciting win,” said Navy head coach Stefanie Pemper. “Marist definitely challenged us with their offensive rebounding, size, movement on offense and ability to hit shots. I thought our players kept their heads and our offense got better as the game went on.”
The teams entered the start of the second half tied at 31, but Marist opened the third quarter on an 11-0 run and soon took a 49-35 lead with four minutes remaining in the frame. Navy would winnow the gap down to 56-46 heading into the final 10 minutes of play.
It was still a 10-point game (60-50) 75 seconds into the fourth quarter, but Navy quickly sliced the margin down to 62-60 on a three-point field goal by Taylor Dunham (Sr., Fort Belvoir, Va.) with 6:31 still to play. The Mids tied the game at 65 on a jumper by Hannah Fenske (Sr., Albuquerque, N.M.) with 4:42 left on the clock then took the lead –– 66-65 –– 45 seconds later. The lead changed twice more, then a third time when Bianca Roach (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) scored on a reverse layup with 2:54 left to play to make the score 69-68. After a turnover by the Red Foxes, Kaila Clark (So., Hughesville, Md.) extended the lead to 71-68 with 2:17 left on a layup of her own. Marist was held to just two free throws over the remainder of the game.
“We said we were going to pick-up full court after a make,” said Pemper of the fourth quarter charge by the Mids. “I don’t think we got any steals out of that, but sometimes that does just lift our players in their focus and energy a little bit. In the final minutes they (Marist) didn’t get off some shots they wanted to take quickly.”
Navy shot 70.6 percent from the field in the final quarter (12-17), while limiting Marist to a 4-11 effort (36.4%). Additionally, the Red Foxes were just 5-13 (38.5%) from the foul line in the final 10 minutes of the game. Overall, Marist was 11-24 (45.8%) from the free throw line and Navy was 7-10 (70%) with the Mids sinking 4-of-6 attempts in the fourth quarter.
Navy shot 46.2 percent from the field on the night when included a 10-26 (38.5%) effort from three-point land. Marist made 41.9 percent of its shots, which featured a 7-24 (29.2%) showing from outside the arc.
Also, Marist held a 42-36 edge on the glass, which included an 18-11 lead in offensive caroms.
“We had four kids with four fouls and none of them fouled out,” said Pemper. “We kept moving; our points in the paint was a huge stat (38-32 Navy). They (Marist) wanted to go to the post more than we did but we found a way to get drives and some backdoor cuts. Just an incredible team win with five in double figures.”
Fenske, who opened the game with three-point field goals made on each of Navy’s first three offensive possessions, ended the contest with career-highs of five triples and 22 points.
“She (Fenske) led us in steals (three), she was our second leading rebounder (eight), three assists, even had a big block,” said Pemper. “Such a great stat line. She shot well from the field and not just from the three-point line. She was great early then stuck with it and had a strong fourth quarter.”
She was one of five Mids to score in double figures, which included an 11-point, 11-rebound effort from Clark and 13 points from both Dunham and Morgan Taylor (So., Evans, Ga.).
“(Morgan) had a couple of finishes at the rim,” said Pemper. “Shot well, rebounded, didn’t turn the ball over, had a big steal. They (Marist) went small, so we felt we could go small and Morgan was a huge difference in the game.”
Navy will open its home slate Sunday when the Mids play host to Rider at 4 p.m. in Alumni Hall.