July 29, 2010

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Philly U. rallies past CHC in NCAA League

It appeared that Team Gold, made up mainly of Chestnut Hill College players, was headed to victory in last Tuesday’s NCAA Summer League contest, ahead by a dozen points with a little over four minutes to go.

However, Team Red, composed entirely of Philadelphia University athletes, rallied to send the game into overtime and then won it, 86-84.

Team Gold went ahead early and would hold the lead most of the evening. At halftime, its 38-30 advantage owed 12 points to forward Lindsay Alexander and six to Ericka Furrowh, whose fellow guards, Asha Jones and Marqesah Spicer, contributed three and two-points respectively.

Two non-CHC players also helped power the offense; Drexel University forward Taylor Wootton had accumulated eight points in the opening period, and guard Jasmine Elum, from Bethune Cookman, scored seven. The leaders for Team Red were forward Kate Brennan, with seven points, and shooting guard Deanna Kelly, with five.

As the second half got underway, Team Gold’s Alexander added five more points for a total of 17, but she was picking up fouls at the same time, and had to leave the game with five personals with 15:01 still left to play. Wootton continued to power the offense on the inside, chalking up 10 of her 18 total points after the intermission. Furrowh duplicated her six-point effort of the first half to end up with an even dozen, and swing player Jessica Pruiti, scoreless before the break, hit a lay-up and two three-point field goals in the second stanza.

For the Philly U. “Red” team, Brennan would wind up as high scorer after logging nine points in the second half and the overtime stint. Kelly, a Lafayette Hill native, drained three three-pointers in the second period, finishing up with four treys for the evening and a total of 14 points. Plymouth Whitemarsh grad Taylor Magnus, a guard, would add 11 points and forward Kristen Blye totaled nine points.

Pruiti’s second “three” for Team Gold gave her squad a 77-65 lead with 4:33 left to play, and Team Red called time-out. Team Red showed renewed determination coming out of the huddle, and they got a lot of help from the Gold franchise. Instead of using the clock judiciously, Team Gold turned the ball over repeatedly by forcing up a series of ill-advised shots.

Brennan deposited a lay-up and two free throws, Magnus converted a one-and-one, and forward Ashley Gaskins scored from the paint to make it 77-74. Team Gold’s Wootton then fouled out with 41 seconds remaining, and Red’s Christine Wooding hit the first shot in the resulting one-and-one. Lay-ups by incoming freshman Samantha Morris and Wooding moved the Red team ahead, 79-77, but Team Gold’s Spicer drove to the hoop to send the match into overtime at 79-all.

As the three-minute overtime progressed Gold’s Spicer and Asha Jones traded baskets with Red’s Magnus and Gaskins. After Wooding hit a lay-up, Brennan made the first of two free throws to give Team Red an 86-83 lead with 13.6 seconds left.

Team Gold’s Elum made the front end of a one-and-one with 3.5 ticks to go, and then went in for the rebound after deliberately bouncing her second free throw off of the rim. She got the ball and flung up a desperate shot, but the ball wouldn’t go down and Team Red emerged with a two-point victory.

On an adjacent court, several Mount St. Joseph Academy alums played for Team Lime Green, which defeated Team Purple (all West Chester U. students), 69-49. MSJ’s Sarah McGorry (Lafayette ’12) and Elle Hagedorn (Harvard ’13) have been playing for Lime Green all summer, and they scored 10 and four points, respectively, last Tuesday. Suiting up for the summer squad for the first time, former Mountie Laura Johnson (Princeton ’12) contributed two points to the winning cause.

Team Purple’s Division II West Chester players hung tough in the first period, and only trailed 29-21 at the intermission. Lime Green, with many Division I athletes on its roster, pulled away in the second half. Leading the winners were recent St. Bonaventure grad Dana Mitchell (23 points), and former Girls Inter-Ac League star Katie Kuester (14), a Notre Dame alum going into her junior year at St. Joseph’s University.



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