Dec. 8, 2012
EMMITSBURG, Md. - Mount St. Mary's outscored the Navy women's basketball team 20-8 over the last 10 minutes of the game to rally for a 53-45 victory over the Midshipmen Saturday afternoon at Knott Arena in Emmitsburg, Md.
The Mount posted a 52-45 victory over Navy last season and has now won each of the last 10 games in the series that have been played in Emmitsburg.
"I give credit to Mount St. Mary's," said Navy head coach Stefanie Pemper. "I think they really wanted this game. They played really hard, they have good players, their coach does a good job, they ran some nice sets and forced us into a little different lineup. We did a good job of that for the most part."
Navy (6-5) jumped out on Mount St. Mary's (3-4) by scoring the first 10 points of the game before taking a 16-5 advantage nine minutes into the contest. The Mount was able to close to within one point of the Mids at 19-18, but Navy still held a 23-20 advantage at halftime.
Mount St. Mary's took the lead from Navy, 26-25, in the early moments of the second half. The Mids responded with Kara Pollinger scoring on a layup and Jade Geif connecting on back-to-back short jumpers to give Navy the lead again at 31-26 with 15:41 left to play in the second half.
It took less than two minutes before Mount St. Mary's tied the game at 33-33 on a three-point field goal by Jessie Kaufman. The teams traded missed field goal attempts, then Chloe Stapleton was fouled while in the act of shooting on Navy's next trip down the floor. She would sink both free throw attempts to break the tie. The ensuing trip down the floor for the Mount saw Jade Geif block a shot and gather in the errant carom. That effort was followed by Alix Membreno scoring on a layup to give Navy a 37-33 lead with 11:09 left to play.
Mount St. Mary's would score on each of its next eight possessions, while limiting Navy to just one field goal and forcing the Mids into a trio of turnovers, to build a 50-39 lead with 4:49 left on the clock.
"We struggled a little bit with our out of bounds defense," said Pemper. "It seemed there was a stretch of four or five times where they were inbounding under their basket."
However, Navy climbed right back into the game as Stapleton buried a three pointer, Membreno tallied a steal and Audrey Bauer drilled a triple of her own to whittle the margin down to 50-45 with 3:39 remaining on the clock.
Both teams missed field goal attempts on their next respective possessions, then the Mount missed another shot that was gathered in by the Mids. Membreno was fouled while driving to the basket on Navy's ensuing trip down the floor, but she missed both attempts from the foul line with 1:51 remaining in the game. Her latter attempt was corralled in by Bauer, but then she committed a turnover to give the ball back to the Mount with 100 seconds left in the contest.
Mount St. Mary's would for all intents and purposes seal the game when Jacquline Brewer sank a three-point shot with 1:21 remaining on the clock.
"To hold them to 53 points is good, but it was grueling to defend them and I think that is a credit to the players they are," said Pemper. "On the other end, we struggled with their ball-screen defense. We struggled getting it inside and I think we could have had success if we could have gotten it in there. Scoring 45 points on the road isn't enough to win against a good team.
"I think we got outplayed and outcoached, and it is just disappointing. We feel they are a good program -- they beat us here last year -- and we just weren't able to turn the words we had to say before the game into action on the court and actually come out and play with the type of feistiness and execution we needed."
Turnovers hurt the Mids all day. Navy turned the ball over 18 times in the game, with Mount St. Mary's turning those miscues into 22 points. Conversely, the Mids scored just 14 points following the 10 Mount St. Mary's turnovers it forced.
"We had a hard time finding the open player," said Pemper about Navy's turnovers. "They had great help-side inside defense. We had a lot of open players near the corners and we couldn't find them. It was a little of four on five out there at times."
Mount St. Mary's would shoot 46.4 percent from the field in the second half and 36.8 percent for the game. Navy shot 40.9 percent from the floor after halftime to end the game shooting 34.0 percent. Broken down, the Mids made 7 of 20 three-point attempts and 9 of 27 two-point shots.
Stapleton led Navy in scoring for the second consecutive game. She made a pair of three-point field goals on her way to tallying a Navy-high 10 points. Membreno and Bauer each contributed nine points, with Membreno also adding 11 boards and four assists.
"Alix was our bright spot," said Pemper. "I think she really came to compete.
"We didn't handle adversity well tonight. I thought we needed to have more poise at times and more confidence."
Brewer's 16 points led all players in the game.
Navy will take a break in its competitive schedule for end of the semester exams, then will resume its season Dec. 19 at Marquette.