WASHINGTON - No. 1-seeded The Catholic University of America women's basketball team punched their ticket to the Landmark Conference championship final with a 60-56 overtime victory over the No. 4-seeded Elizabethtown College on Wednesday evening.
No. 23 Catholic advances its 2016-17 record to 23-3 and will host No. 19 University of Scranton in the conference title game on Saturday, February 25 at 4 p.m.
Senior Michelle DeSantis led the Cardinals with 20 points in the semifinal contest and dished out six assists and grabbed three steals. She stepped up big with 4-of-6 three-point buckets that included a tie-breaking basket in overtime to put the Cards up, 56-53. DeSantis scored all seven of the Lady Cardinals' overtime points and had back-to-back free throws to seal the deal.
Elizabethtown senior Emily Martin tested the Cardinals for 45-straight minutes and a triple-double. She scored 23 points with 11 rebounds and registered 11 blocks. Her efforts would not be enough however as the Cards pulled it out down the stretch.
Catholic opened the first three minutes of play with a 10-0 run but Elizabethtown answered with a 9-0 run of its own to bring the score to 10-9 with four minutes left in the first period. The conference foes went point-for-point as the Cards finished the first 10 minutes on top, 14-13.
DeSantis hit 2-of-2 shots from behind the arc in the second quarter to help lift the Cards over the Blue Jays at the half, 28-22.
After the break, the Blue Jays closed in on the Cards as two free throws from Martin tied the game at 39-apiece. E-town took advantage of its momentum and grabbed a 43-41 advantage at the end of the third.
The battle of the birds came to a tie five times in the fourth quarter. Catholic freshman Caroline Sullivan tied the game at 49-all, but a buzzer-beating layup from Martin forced a 53-53 draw and overtime which set up DeSantis' heroics.
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