VIRGINIA BEACH- Virginia Wesleyan College's women's basketball team was rolling along to what could have been an impressive win against an impressive foe. Key words: could have been.
With 8:43 remaining to be played in the game and Virginia Wesleyan riding atop a 50-40 lead, the wheels feel off for the Marlins. Marymount University's Saints, the defending Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) champion and a team ranked as high as No. 8 in national preseason polls, took advantage of an untimely cold spell in shooting by Virginia Wesleyan and proceeded to outscore the Marlins 28-8 en route to a 68-58 non-conference victory on Sunday at the Jane P. Batten Student Center.
Virginia Wesleyan (4-2) put up 11 shots in those final minutes and connected on only two, while Marymount (3-2) hit 7-of-10 attempts to help wipe out the deficit and forge into the lead. Two-time All-American, two-time CAC Player of the Year, Katelyn Fischer stepped up to guide the Saints to the win.
A strong defensive effort on Fischer in the first half, sparked by juniors Brittany Glasco and Andrea Paphites, limited the Marymount ace to only seven points. But, Fischer found ways to get open, get the ball to her teammates, or plow inside to draw fouls for points. She hit 12-of-14 free throws in the final eight minutes, and 15-of-17 overall. Despite hitting only 5-of-12 field goal attempts, Fischer used her solid shooting at the free throw line to finish with 27 points. She also dished out a game-high seven assists.
Virginia Wesleyan enjoyed its final run near the midway point of the second half when Kerri Taylor, Nancy Kelly, Glasco, and Paphites put together a scoring surge, capped by a triple by Cassie Conley, that gave VWC a 50-40 lead.
After the Marlins missed the chance to increase the spread to 12, Marymount started to heat up when Aileen Maknati hit a triple for the Saints. VWC's cold spell took hold at the point, opening the door for Marymount to come back.
Conley finished with a career-high 12 points for Virginia Wesleyan, hitting 4-of-9 shots from the field, including 4-of-6 triples. Glasco added 11 points and Paphites finished with 10. Kelly, who made her season debut after sitting out the first five games due to illness, contributed eight points and tied for the team-high with seven rebounds. Glasco also pulled down seven rebounds and shared the team-lead in assists with Paphites, both with five.