Saturday women: Homeward bound – D3hoops

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Bridgette Monaghan was money from the foul line in No. 3 Scranton’s overtime win over Elizabethtown.
University of Scranton athletics file photo

No. 3 Scranton and Tufts secured home court for their upcoming conference playoffs with dramatic wins. Elsewhere, no. 5 Smith all but locked up the NEWMAC and Pomona-Pitzer spoiled No. 23 La Verne’s bid for SCIAC perfection in Saturday’s Division III women’s basketball action.

No. 3 Scranton overcame a late deficit and a serious injury to wrap up home court in the Landmark Conference playoffs with a 79-72 overtime win at second-place Elizabethown. Trailing 65-63 with 10 seconds remaining, Scranton called time out and put the ball in All-American Bridget Monaghan’s hands. She missed a layup but teammate Maddy Ryan grabbed the rebound, scored and sent the game to overtime. Ryan was badly injured on the play, and the game was delayed for nearly 20 minutes.

When play resumed, Scranton scored the first eight points in overtime and finished off the Blue Jays. Monaghan made eight of 10 free throw attempts in the extra period and finished with 26 points in 45 minutes for the Lady Royals (23-0, 12-0 Landmark). Summer McNulty poured in 35 points for Elizabethtown (19-3, 9-3 Landmark).

No. 5 Smith shook off a slow start at home against No. 14 Babson and then pulled away for an 80-67 win that all but secures home court for the Pioneers in the NEWMAC playoffs. Smith fell behind 24-13 after one period, cut the deficit to single digits before halftime and then took control with an 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter. Jessie Ruffner’s layup put the Pioneers ahead 65-55 and the Beavers couldn’t get closer than two possessions the rest of the way.

Morgan Morrison racked up 28 points and 15 rebounds for Smith (21-0, 7-0 NEWMAC), which only needs to beat Emerson or Wellesley to secure first place.

Tufts secured the top spot in next week’s NESCAC playoffs with a dramatic 57-56 win over No. 12 Trinity (Conn.). The Jumbos looked like they would win comfortably when Sofia Gonzalez’s two free throws put Tufts up 51-37 early in the fourth quarter. But the Bantams held Tufts to just one field goal in that period and came all the way back to take a 56-55 lead on Reilly Campbell’s layup with 26 seconds remaining.

Tufts called time out and got the ball to All-American Maggie Russell who had her shot blocked out of bounds by Campbell with two seconds left. Tufts called timeout, set up a play for Russell again, and this time she drew the foul on Campbell. Russell sank both free throws and then stole the ball away from Trinity on the Bantams’ final possession.

Russell paced Tufts (18-6, 9-1 NESCAC) with 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Campbell posted 13 points for Trinity (20-4, 7-3 NESCAC) which will be the third seed when the conference playoffs begin next Saturday.

Pomona-Pitzer deal no. 23 La Verne suffered its first loss to a Division III opponent, as the Sagehens stunned the Leopards, 88-84, in Southern California. Pomona-Pitzer, which had lost six of its last seven games, took an 84-82 lead on Emily Church’s jumper with 55 seconds left. La Verne missed a shot on its next possession and Madison Quan added two free throws to give the Sagehens the eventual margin of victory.

Sidney Wagner scored 24 points for No. 18 Trine, and the Thunder rallied past No. 17 Calvin, 59-54, eliminating the Knights from the MIAA title picture. Calvin had a 41-37 lead entering the fourth quarter when the Thunder caught fire, shooting 8 for 14 in the final period. Trine took the lead for good on Alyssa Argyle’s three-pointer midway through the fourth quarter and got some breathing room when Makayla Ardis added a driving layup that gave the Thunder a 53-49 lead.

Trine (18-5, 12-2 MIAA) remains tied for first in the MIAA with No. 7 Hope, which crushed Olivet, 95-18.

No. 20 UW-Whitewater made seven of its 10 free throw attempts in the final minute and closed out UW-Stout, 78-75, to grab first place in the WIAC. Trailing 73-68 with 55 seconds left, the Blue Devils extended the game by sending the Warhawks to the free throw line repeatedly. Anna Mutch pulled UW-Stout within three at 76-73 with 32 seconds left, but Kacie Carollo split a pair of free throws to push UW-Whitewater’s lead back to two possessions. UW-Whitewater added one more free throw and Mutch’s final layup left the Blue Devils three points short.

No. 18 Puget Sound lost a game and sole possession of first place in the NWC when Pacific felled the Loggers, 73-62. Sydney Gray had a double double for the Boxers (18 points, 10 rebounds) outrebounded Puget Sound by 10. The Loggers’ loss coupled with Whitman’s 74-43 win over George Fox pulled the Blues into a first-place tie. Puget Sound and Whitman split their regular season matchups and both also had losses to third-place Pacific.

The Empire 8 playoffs will run through Pittsford, NY because St. John Fisher clinched the top seed in that conference with a 78-69 win over crosstown rival Nazareth. The Cardinals outscored the Golden Flyers 30-15 in the final period and shot 50 percent (29 for 58) in the game. Kaitlyn Walker scored 20 points for St. John Fisher (21-2, 16-0 E8) who has won 17 straight.

Millikin rode another big game from All-American Elyce Knudsen to a share of the CCIW title, dropping Carthage, 79-70. Knudsen poured in 35 points on 13-for-29 shooting in a full 40 minutes. Millikin can close out the CCIW race with a win over 3-19 Elmhurst on Wednesday night.

Jina DeRubbo reached the 500 win milestone in comfortable fashion when Washington and Jefferson rolled over Waynesburg, 74-50. The win is DeRubbo’s 369th with the Presidents, plus she had 131 as the head coach at PAC rival Bethany. Meghan Dryburgh had 13 points, nine rebounds and six assists for Washington and Jefferson (21-2, 17-1 PAC), which has a two-game lead over St. Vincent with two games to play.

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