ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Although the Engineers pieced together strong middle quarters, the No. 17 Marymount women's basketball team had a stronger beginning and end including a 21-point fourth to seal up the 58-54 victory in the first round of the NCAA DIII Women's Basketball Championship.
Senior Nicole Viscuso led the offense with a game-high 17 points, going 7-for-8 from the free-throw line, while sophomore Regan Lohr dialed in during the second half to finish with 13 points. Senior Leah Hurst tacked in 10 points to go along with six assists, as she pushed her career total over the 500-assist mark.
Through the first half of play, the Saints (25-3) never trailed. In the first quarter, they busted out with a 12-7 advantage with plenty of momentum, as it marked the 32nd time this season the Saints held an opponent to single digits in a quarter. However, the Engineers started to find their stride, dropping in 18 points in the second quarter to the 14 by Marymount.
Two free throws to open the second half by the Engineers bumped them out in front of the Saints for the first time in the game, eventually building up to their largest lead of the game of seven with 3:37 left in the third quarter.
Marymount trailed the entire third quarter and used that to fuel an offensive fire in the final frame. Although MIT put away the first two points, Lohr ignited for seven-straight points to push the Saints back ahead, 44-43.
The score swayed back into the favor of the Engineers one more time, but the Saints took control for the remainder of the game, eventually outscoring MIT, 21-13, for the final quarter.
Lohr put in 12 of her 13 total points in the fourth quarter, shooting 4-for-7 from he floor and 3-for-4 at the charity stripe.
The Saints are now 22-21 in the NCAA Tournament, 5-3 under the tutelage of Head Coach Ashlee Rogers.
With the victory, the Saints advance to the second round on Saturday night, March 3 against the winner of the other first-round game between host University of Rochester and Stevens. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Photo courtesy of University of Rochester Athletics