ITHACA, N.Y. – Ithaca College (24-5) defeated #12/14 Saint Joseph's College (28-2), 74-63, in the second round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament on Saturday evening.
With the victory, Ithaca moves on to the third round of the national tourney for the first time since 2014 and fourth time in program history. The Bombers will play DeSales, which defeated Middlebury in other second-round action tonight, in a 'Sweet 16' matchup next Friday.
The loss signals the end of collegiate basketball for the Monks' four seniors: Emily Benway (Rochester, N.H.), Julia Champagne (Brunswick, Maine), Hannah Marks (Waldoboro, Maine), and Kelsi McNamara (West Newbury, Mass.). With the 2019 class on the court, St. Joe's posted a 103-15 (.873) overall record – the most victories by a senior class in program history - with a 53-2 (.964) mark in conference play, three GNAC Championships, and four NCAA Tournament appearances.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
In the first half, the Bombers posted several scoring runs to put the game out of reach.
With the game tied 11-11 with 3:09 left in the first quarter, registered a 12-0 run and held a 23-13 cushion heading into the second frame.
The Monks managed to cut the deficit down to four points (25-21) after junior guard Julia Quinn (Fryeburg, Maine) hit a three-pointer with 6:32 before the break, but Ithaca outscored Saint Joseph's by a 25-8 margin leading up to halftime and carried a 50-29 lead into intermission.
The Bombers led 61-40 with 2:35 to play in the third period, but the Royal Blue ended the penultimate quarter with a 9-2 surge and trailed by 14 (63-49) after McNamara drilled a three-pointer as time expired.
The Monks continued to chip away and cut their deficit down to single digits after Champagne connected on a jumper to make it a 65-56 game with 5:41 remaining, but Ithaca put up five unanswered points during a 40-second span to effectively end the comeback hopes for St. Joe's.
Saint Joseph's outscored Ithaca by a 34-24 margin in the final two quarters combined.
STATS OF THE GAME:
The Bombers held sizeable advantages in points in the paint (28-16) and bench points (35-11).
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- McNamara netted 30 points with four rebounds and was 9-for-10 from the FT line
- Champagne added 13 points with seven boards and was also 9-for-10 from the stripe
- Quinn came off the bench to score nine points
- Benway added five points and seven caroms
LEADERS – ITHACA:
- Senior guard Annie Giannone (Auburn, N.Y.) tallied 22 points, nine assists, and five rebounds
- Junior guard KellyAnne O'Reilly (Montville, N.J.) came off the bench to net 19 points with five boards and was 5-for-7 from three-point distance
- Junior forward Cassidy O'Malley (Summit, N.J.) chipped in with 21 points and four blocked shots