Manhattanville Takes Down No. 25 Misericordia

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PURCHASE, N.Y. – For the first time in nine seasons – and the first time under the direction of seventh-year head coach Kate Vlahakis – the Manhattanville College women's basketball team picked up a victory over a Top 25-ranked opponent. The Valiants earned a hard-fought Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Freedom win over Misericordia University Saturday afternoon, Feb. 2, at Kennedy Gymnasium by a score of 61-58.
Manhattanville (16-4, 7-3 MACF) last trailed the Cougars (18-3, 7-3 MACF) with 4:39 left in the first quarter at 10-9. From that point forward, the Valiants never trailed again and maintained a steady single-digit cushion over Misericordia throughout en route to the victory.
Things weren't as simple as the box score suggests, though, as the Cougars clawed their way back into the game in the latter stages of the fourth quarter. In fact, Misericordia tied it up on two occasions in the final 2:05, including at 58-58 with just 1:27 remaining. The sequence that followed sealed the well-deserved victory for Manhattanville.
Senior Kayleah McGuire (Somers, N.Y./Somers) worked her magic and sank a layup under the basket at 1:02. Seconds later, sophomore Jkayla Elting swatted away a Cougar shot attempt and fellow sophomore Spencer Shore (Boca Raton, Fla./West Boca Raton) came down with the defensive rebound. Following a pair of timeouts, the Valiants posted another huge defensive stop and McGuire pulled down the defensive rebounds with just 0:06 remaining. She was fouled instantly – she missed her first, but made her second to stretch the lead to three at 61-58 with only 0:02 left. A last-second heave from three by Misericordia was not to be and Manhattanville sealed the monumental win.
In order for the Valiants to be in the position they were in to win it in the second half, they needed a stellar first half by sophomore Sarah Coutu (Cranston, R.I./Cranston East). The guard was on fire in the game's first two quarters and poured in 21 of Manhattanville's 40 first-half points – including 4-of-7 from long range.
The Cougars are currently ranked No. 25 by and No. 23 by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The previous time the Valiants defeated a ranked squad was Nov. 19, 2010 when they bested then-No. 18/23 Bowdoin College on a neutral court at the Salem State Tip-Off Tournament in Salem, Mass., by a score of 66-62.
- McGuire finished with 22 points and nine rebounds.
- Coutu led all players with 27 points. She also grabbed five rebounds and had three steals.
- Paige Wampole (18 points, 12 rebounds) and Japriya Carroll (16 points) led Misericordia.
Manhattanville is currently tied for second in the MAC Freedom standings with Misericordia, having split the season series. The Valiants return to the court this Wednesday night, Feb. 6, when they host conference front-runner No. 18/17 DeSales University.