December 8, 2012

Espinosa Powers Shorewomen Past Fords, 50-47

Freshman Tallies First Career Double-Double, Career Highs in Points, Rebounds and Assists

CHESTERTOWN, MD -- Freshman guard Ashley Espinosa (Reading, PA/Governor Mifflin) recorded her first career double-double by piling up career highs of 24 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists as the host Washington College women's basketball team dealt visiting Haverford its first Centennial Conference loss of the season, 50-47, this afternoon inside Cain Athletic Center. 

The Shorewomen (6-2, 4-2 Centennial) led by as many as 10 points in the first half before the Fords (6-2, 5-1) scored the final eight points of the period to trim the margin to 27-25 at halftime. Espinosa scored 13 of the Shorewomen's first 14 points, but left the game with an injury with 5:41 remaining in the first half.  She returned to play the entire second half.

Haverford opened the second half with a 9-3 spurt to take a 34-30 lead on a pair of free throw shots by Dominique Meeks with 14:03 remaining. Neither team led by more than four points the rest of the way. The score was knotted at 47-47 when Washington called timeout with the ball with 40.8 seconds to play. 

Junior forward Latisha Pledger (Chesapeake, VA/Indian River) was fouled on a shot attempt with 32.9 seconds left and made one of two free throws to give Washington a 48-47 lead. Sophomore guard Jackie O'Connell (Northampton, PA/Northampton Area) got the offensive rebound on Pledger's miss and was fouled.  She missed the front end of the one-and-one and Haverford's Jacquelyne Pizzuto grabbed the rebound and the Fords went up court. Pizzuto drove the lane, but was stripped by Espinosa. Espinosa was fouled and made both free throws with 5.8 seconds to go to up the lead to 50-47.  Pizzuto was then called for carrying near mid-court with 3.5 seconds remaining to give the ball back to the Shorewomen. 

Washington turned the ball over on the inbounds as the ball bounced off of Pledger and out of bounds with 2.7 seconds to go.

Espinosa was the only play for either team team to reach double figures in scoring or rebounding and her five assists were also a game-high. Junior guard Kelly Mitchell (Laurel, MD/Academy of the Holy Cross) added eight points off the bench for Washington, while Pledger tallied eight rebounds. 

Meeks paced Haverford with eight points, eight rebounds, and a game-best five steals. Pizzuto added eight points and seven rebounds, while Elizabeth Baskin also had eight points for the Fords.

Washington won despite shooting just 28.8% from the field in the game and going 16:05 without a made field goal, stretching from 7:00 remaining in the first half to 10:55 left in the second half. The Shorewomen were 81% (17-for-21) at the free throw line in the game, while Haverford was just 60% (12-for-20). The Fords also committed 23 turnovers in the contest, offsetting their 38% shooting from the field.

The Shorewomen return to action one week from today with a 7:00 p.m. non-conference home game against Catholic.

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