Fitzgerald Posts Career Highs of 23 Points, 17 Rebounds in Win
CHESTERTOWN, MD -- Junior forward Erin Fitzgerald (Greensboro, NC/Bishop McGuiness) tallied career highs of 23 points and 17 rebounds as the host Washington College women's basketball team defeated visiting McDaniel, 79-63, in the Centennial Conference opener for both teams tonight inside Cain Athletic Center.
The Shorewomen (3-0 overall) shot 64% (18-for-28) in the first half en route to building a 42-31 lead at the intermission. Washington also held McDaniel (1-2) to 24% (9-for-38) shooting from the field in the period, but the Green Terror's 16 offensive rebounds and the Shorewomen's 15 turnovers in the half kept McDaniel within shouting distance at the break.
McDaniel trailed by just nine points, at 49-40, with 13:31 remaining in the second half before the Shorewomen ran off 12 straight points, capped off by a fast-break lay-up by junior guard Claire Mattox (Arlington, VA/Potomac School) with 11:11 left to extend the lead to 21 points at 61-40. The Shorewomen led by at least 14 points the rest of the way.
Fitzgerald scored 18 of her 23 points in the first half and finished the game 9-for-11 from the field and 5-for-7 from the free-throw line. Junior guard Kelly Mitchell (Laurel, MD/Academy of the Holy Cross) added 16 points and knocked down four of her nine three-point attempts for Washington, while freshman guard Ashley Espinosa (Reading, PA/Governor Mifflin) added 13 points. Mattox handed out a career-best eight assists in the victory, while junior forward Latisha Pledger (Chesapeake, VA/Indian River) scored eight points and brought down 14 boards.
Steph Perez led McDaniel with 16 points in the loss, shooting 7-for-17 from the field and 1-of-2 at the line. The other four Green Terror starters combined for 15 points on 6-for-34 shooting from the field and 2-for-4 shooting at the line.
Washington finished the game 31-for-58 from the field, 6-for-11 from three-point range, and 11-of-19 from the three-point line. McDaniel was 23-for-91 from the field, 4-for-15 from three, and 13-of-28 at the line. Washington committed 32 turnovers to McDaniel's 15. The Shorewomen held a slim 55-53 advantage on the boards but were out-rebounded on the offensive end, 32-12.
The Shorewomen return to action one week from today with a 7:00 p.m. Centennial Conference game at Johns Hopkins.