Garnet Fend Off Shorewomen, 68-65

Garnet Fend Off Shorewomen, 68-65

Mitchell Scores Team-High 18 Points

SWARTHMORE, PA – Swarthmore's Katie Lytle had a game-high 22 points and a team-topping 13 rebounds as host Swarthmore edged visiting Washington College, 68-65, on Thursday night in Centennial Conference women's basketball action at Tarble Pavilion.  The Garnet improve to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the conference, while the Shorewomen fall to 5-2 and 3-2 respectively.

The Garnet led 64-56 with 2:04 left in the game on a pair of free throws by Kayla Mortizky when the Shorewomen scored six points to cut the lead to 64-62 with 35 ticks left in the second half following a free throw by junior guard Kelly Mitchell (Laurel, MD/Academy of the Holy Cross).  Swarthmore would hit three free throws in the next eight seconds to increase its lead to 67-62 with 27 seconds to go.  After a three-pointer by freshman guard Ashley Espinosa (Reading, PA/Governor Mifflin) with 19 ticks left trimmed the lead to 67-65, Moritzky was fouled and made one from the line with 13 seconds left to put the hosts up 68-65.  The Shorewomen were unable to get off a three-point shot to tie the game, settling for a two-pointer that was no good and the Garnet held on for the three-point win.

In the first half, the Shorewomen took their biggest lead of the game at 28-20 with 7:52 to go in the first half on a layup by freshman guard Dee Maddox (Virginia Beach, VA/Norfolk Collegiate).  The Garnet would respond by closing the half on a 20-7 run to grab a 40-35 lead at halftime.  Swarthmore cut the lead to 28-27 with 6:01 to go in the opening half on a layup by Elle Larsen.  Junior forward Latisha Pledger (Chesapeake, VA/Indian River) would can a jumper to put WC up 32-27 with 4:38 remaining in the first half, before the hosts scored eight of the next nine points to take its first lead of the half at 35-33 with 1:44 to go on a pair of free throws by Lytle.  After two Maddox free throws tied the game up at 35-35 with 1:19 left in the half, the Garnet scored the last five points of the first to take a 40-35 lead into intermission.  A Lytle traditional three-point play put the Garnet up 38-35 with 42 seconds left and Madeline Ross made a layup off of a steal with nine ticks left to close out the scoring in the first.

In the second half, Swarthmore's lead was cut to 43-42 on a three-pointer by Mitchell with 16:12 to go in the contest.  However Swarthmore went on an 8-3 run to take a 51-45 lead with 13:39 remaining on a Lytle lay-in.  Following a Mitchell jumper with 8:21 left to cut the lead to 55-52, the Garnet went on a 7-1 spurt to take a 62-53 lead with 3:15 to go on a free throw by Eliza Polli.

In addition to Lytle, the Garnet got 13 points and seven boards from Larsen and 12 points courtesy of Ross.  Moritzky had three steals to lead all players, while Jessica Jowdy tied for tops in the game in steals with two.  Swarthmore shot 31% from the floor (21-for-67), 17% from three-point range (3-for-18) and 72% from the foul line (23-for-32).  Swarthmore had 10 steals in the win.

Mitchell led Washington a season-best 18 points, 12 of which came in the second half, while Espinosa added 17 points off the bench.  Pledger grabbed a game-best 21 rebounds, 10 on the offensive glass.  Junior guard Claire Mattox (Arlington, VA/Potomac School) had a career-best two blocks to tie for tops in the game.  WC held a 52-41 edge on the boards, but turned it over 19 times, while Swarthmore had just nine giveaways.   The Shorewomen shot 36% from the floor (22-for-61), 47% from behind the arc (8-for-17) and 65% from the free throw stripe (13-for-20). 

The Garnet held the edge in points off turnovers (18-12), points in the paint (24-16) and second-chance points (22-14).  The Shorewomen had all four fast-break points and had a 25-12 edge in bench points.

The Shorewomen return to action on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. versus visiting Haverford in Centennial action.