No. 3 Moravain Ends No. 2 Catholic's Title Run With Overtime Upset
WASHINGTON – Down 48-33 with 15:24 to play, the Cardinals erased a 15-point deficit and knotted the game at 52-52 by the 4:04 mark. The teams were even for the final minutes of the contest, sending the semifinal game into overtime before Moravian pulled away with a 66-65 win over Catholic to advance to the Landmark Conference Championship Game.
CUA senior standout Emily Grabiak recorded her 12 double-double of the season with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Michelle Desantis and Jayni Webster finished with 12 points apiece, while Josephine Migash pulled down 13 boards.
Collectively, Catholic shot 75 percent from the charity stripe (21-28), 33 percent from behind the arc (6-18) and just 26 percent from the field (19-72).
Unlike their typical start, the Cards held on to a short opening contest lead. Moravian's Danielle Brogan, who found the majority of her success from three-point range, broke the CUA lead with a three-point basket at the 13:55 mark. Webster provide a slight advantage with a layup, nonetheless the Landmark foes regained the lead at the 12:57 mark.
Catholic struggled to get into a flow offensively shooting just 9-of-32 from the floor in the first half. The Greyhounds, shooting 40% were able to extend their lead to as much as seven points at 4:54 to play before the Cardinals closed the gap to be within three with a 31-28 halftime score.
Moravian returned to CUA's Franny Murray court and jumped out to a 15-5 run ignited by three consecutive three-pointers by Brogan. With a 15-point lead in their favor, CUA found themselves at the highest conference deficit at home.
After the media timeout, Catholic began to chisel away at the lead, finally tying the contest 52-52 at the 4:04 mark. Grabiak netted a crowd-rousing three pointer to take the first lead since the 12:57 mark in the first half. Grabiak and Webster combined for a pair of buckets to while Katie O'Rourke and Alyssa Hann went 4-4 from the free throw line for the Greyhounds as the Cardinals held onto a three point lead with 1:31 to play.
On the next posession, Hann hit her only three-pointer of the game to tie things at 59-59. Neither team was able to score in the final minute as the game headed for overtime.
Moravian won the overtime tipoff and Brogan was able to knock down her fifth three-pointer of the night to give the Greyhounds the lead, which they would not relinquish for the rest of the game.
Kristen Walheim was able to focus at the foul throw line and hit both of her attempts to cut the Moravian lead to one with 4:00 left to play. Both teams would go a combined 3-of-6 from the strip over the next few tries to keep it a one posession game.
Down two with less than thirty seconds left, the Cardinals had the ball and a chance to tie or take the lead. However, the Greyhounds were able to come up with a steal, forcing the Cardinals to foul in order to extend the game.
Hann stepped up and sank both free throws to take a 66-62 lead with just 12 seconds left in overtime for Moravian. After Catholic took a 30-second timeout, Grabiak took the inbounds pass in front of the Cardinals' bench, dribbled to the right and drained a dramatic three-pointer with just six ticks on the clock to bring the score to 66-65.
The Cardinals fouled Hann, sending her to the foul line again, however this time she missed both attempts with four seconds on the clock. Bernadette Launi hauled in the rebound and found Grabiak with the outlet pass. With no timeouts left, the Cardinals had to scramble around the Moravian pressure. Grabiak's halfcourt heave at the buzzer was off the mark, and the Cards' chance at a third straight Landmark crown slipped away.
Catholic had a big advantage on the boards, owning a 61-43 difference, but was unable to capitalize on its 24 offensive rebounds.
With a record of 19-6 overall and 12-2 in the conference, the Cardinals must now wait to see if their resume is strong enough to earn them an at-large bit to either the NCAA or ECAC Tournaments.