Uniontown, Pennsylvania- The Lady Warriors were back in action tonight, March 8, with a tough win against Carlow University in the second round of the USCAA National Tournament, 63-61. Ke'ala Ka'aikala (Stanton, MI./ Lakeview) led Rochester College with 18 points.
In front of a packed arena, featuring the rowdy cheers of the Rochester College men's team, the Lady Warriors got out to a quick start thanks to Ka'imana Ka'aikala's (Stanton, MI./ Lakeview) outside shooting. The Celtics of Carlow stayed focused though, keeping the game close with a deep three ball of their own by Chanel Berry.
Ke'ala opened up a slight advantage for the Lady Warriors, going 3 for 3 at the line after getting fouled on a three-point attempt. Megan Hans of the Celtics wouldn't let Rochester College get too far ahead though, cashing in from long distance for 3 of her 6 first half points. With 9:54 left in the half, Berry tied the game up with a three-pointer. The Celtics took their first lead of the game a minute later to go up 14-12. Jessalyn Timko continued Carlow's run with 2 points in the paint to put the Celtics up 4. Facing their largest deficit of the tournament, the Lady Warriors answered with a big jumper from Sam Tomaschko (Romeo, MI./ Romeo) to bring the game back within 3, and then cashed in from beyond the arc to even the score at 17-17.
Abby Schlaegel (Port Huron, MI./ St. Clair CC) reclaimed the lead for Rochester College converting on both attempts at the charity stripe with 4:33 left in the first-half. They kept the momentum going with a sweet pass from Ke'ala to her sister Ka'imana in the lane.
Erin DiSanti gave the Celtics the lead back once again though, making a three-pointer with less than 3 minutes left to go up 22-21. Berry sparked a late half Carlow run, slashing her way through the Lady Warriors defense to the rim.
Jazzmone Russell (Hurricane, WV./ Hurricane) hit a buzzer beater from way behind the arc to send the Lady Warriors to the locker room trailing 29-26. Rochester College's defense held Carlow's leading scorer, Angelica Pantojas, who came in averaging 10.32 points per game, scoreless in the first half.
At half, Tomaschko led Rochester College with 7 points and 4 boards. Schlaegel had a game high 5 rebounds in the first half to go along with 5 points. Russell was 2-4 from three-point for 6 points. The Lady Warriors shot 80% from the free throw line and 23% from the floor in the first 20 minutes.
Berry led all scorers with 14 points for Carlow. Hans had 6 points to help the Celtics cause. Pantojas was held to scoreless in the first half, but had 4 rebounds. Carlow shot 40% from the three-point line.
After the break, the #9 seeded Celtics extended their lead with Berry at the foul line. Carlow controlled the pace of the game for much of the early minutes in the second-half. Ka'imana opened the scoring for Rochester College by hitting a baseline jumper as the shot clock expired. Schlaegel tied the game at 30 after making both fouls shots after Berry picked up her second personal foul. The tie was short lived though, after Timko found her way into the lane for a 5-foot floater with 16:51 left in the game. Rochester College's shooting woes continued to start the second half, only making 1 field goal in the first 5 minutes of play. Berry picked up her third personal foul early in the half, thanks to the great defensive stand of Schlaegel to draw a charge.
With Carlow's leading scorer out, Ke'ala gave the Warriors the lead back converting on an And-1 with 14:08 left in the game. Russell extended the lead to 4 by hitting her third triple of the game, which was followed by three from Ke'ala to put the Lady Warriors up 39-32. Russell answered a quick three by Timko with one of her own, to keep a 7 point advantage for Rochester College with 11:19 remaining.
Down 9, Berry came back for the Celtics to stay within striking distance. But with just under ten minutes to go, Berry picked up with her fourth personal foul. Rochester College started shooting free throws in the bonus with 8 minutes left tin the game to hold their 7-point lead.
Berry checked back in for Carlow with 7:55 to go in the game to try and spark the Celtic offence, but Ke'ala dimmed the Carlow hope with a deep three to balloon the Lady Warriors lead to double digits. After exchanging baskets back-and-forth, Berry caught fire stroking two from deep for another 6 points, cutting the lead to 2 for Rochester College with 4:18 left in the game. Up two and with the ball, Lexy Newsom (Rochester Hills, MI./ Adams) dialed one up from deep to put Rochester College back up 5. As the remaining three minutes ticked away, Carlow turned to Berry to bring them back even.
With under a minute remaining, Berry answered the call by making two three-pointers to give Carlow the 61-60 lead. Coach Eric Sims called a timeout with 43.7 seconds remaining to kill the Celtic's momentum. Hans missed the front end of a one-and-one to give the ball back to Rochester College. Ke'ala made a huge jumper from the right wing with 21 seconds left to put Rochester College up 1. With precious seconds running off the clock, Berry put a floater up that fell short. Tomaschko was fouled after grabbing the rebound, and converted at the charity line to ice the win for the Lady Warriors, 63-61.
Ke'ala led the Lady Warriors with 18 points and had 9 rebounds. Tomaschko had a game high 12 rebounds to go along with her 11 points. Jazzmone Russell shot 50% from beyond the arc for 12 points, and Ka'imana finished with 10 points. Rayenne Kaiser (North Branch, MI./ North Branch) led the team with 4 assists.
Berry led all scorers with 31 points and had a team high 8 rebounds. Berry went 7 for 12 from the three-point line. Mobley added 10 points and 7 boards. Carlow shot 45% deep, and 20% from the free throw line for the game.
Rochester College outscored the Celtics 37-32 in the seconds half on their way to the 63-61 win. The Lady Warriors advance to final four of the tournament, and will play tomorrow at 6PM against Selma.
For stats from tonight's game, click on the following link: http://theuscaa.com/sports/wbkb/boxscores/20120308_pwr3.xml