Goeller Scores Career Point 1000; Gators Fall in NCAC Quarterfinals
MEADVILLE, Pa. – The Allegheny women's basketball team hosted the Wittenberg Tigers in the opening round of the NCAC tournament on Tuesday night; and despite both teams shooting near to 50 percent, Wittenberg's persistence on the offensive glass proved too much for the Gators to handle, as they defeated Allegheny 82-66.
The Tigers would jump out to a quick 10 point lead just 6:49 into the contest, despite being outshot by Allegheny from the floor. The lead would grow to as much as 15 until a pair of jumpers from freshman Marina Scarantino and junior Daryl Ford cut the deficit to 11 as the first half horn sounded.
The Gators would out shot Wittenberg in the first half, connecting on 48 percent from the floor compared to the Tigers 45.9 percent. Allegheny would also end the half with two scorers in double-figures as Ford and junior Heidi Goeller both had 10 points at the break. Goeller's 10 left her just 11 points shy of being the 12th Gator in history to join the 1,000 point club.
However, the telling stat of the half was the rebounding margin, especially on the offensive side. Wittenberg dominated the glass in the first half, outrebounding Allegheny 22-12, while also pouring in 12 second chance points on eight offensive boards.
The Gators looked to come out of the half and chip away at the Tiger lead, but Wittenberg would be too much to handle as the second half looked like a carbon copy of the first. The Tiger lead would balloon upwards of 20 points midway through the second half, as Wittenberg continued to deflate the Gator defense by racking up offensive rebounds. The Tigers would end the contest with 16 offensive rebounds, while holding the edge in second chance points 20-0.
Perhaps the biggest storyline of the second half revolved around Goeller, who needed just 11 points to collect 1,000 career points. She would inch closer to the milestone with a couple of beautiful plays, starting on the defensive end. On two separate occasions, Goeller would intercept a Wittenberg pass near half court and glide in for a pair of fast break lay-ins, the second of which came at the 8:45 mark of the second half.
Sitting on 999, with just 4:48 remaining in her collegiate career, Goeller was fouled and went to the line as everyone in the gym anticipated the culmination of a great career. The first shot went up, and as it bounced off the rim, you could hear the collective groan of the crowd, as they all rose to their feet anticipating the historic moment. Goeller, collected her thoughts, stepped to the line and left no doubt on the second shot, as she stepped into Allegheny immortality as the crowd roared for her 1,000th career point. She would add another late basket to give her 23 for the game, and 1,002 for her career. She would also add five rebounds, as she ends her Allegheny career scoring 20 or more points in her final six games.
Ford added 16 points and seven rebounds, while freshman Kendall Hoffman and junior Ann Ryan both chipped in with nine points apiece; as Allegheny ends their season 15-11 overall and 10-6 in conference play.