Mount de Sales senior Emma Wallace drove down the middle of the lane and hit a 10-foot bank shot with four seconds left to give the host Sailors a 58-57 victory over St. Mary’s on Tuesday night.
It was not the first option for Mount de Sales (3-6), which came out of a timeout with 10.2 seconds remaining after Bailey Walden gave the Saints a 57-56 lead with a floating 4-footer.
“We had intended for me to set a screen for another player, but because of what we were given on offense, I decided to take it to the middle,” Wallace said of her one-handed, running shot that sailed over the Saints’ tallest player. “I intended to finish over her head and I think because I was moving so fast, going for the bank I had a higher chance of it going in versus a swish.”
“She [Wallace] had to make a tough shot and she did,” St. Mary’s (3-5) coach Chuck Miller said.
Wallace finished with 13 points and six rebounds, and her coach was glad to see her take the clutch shot.
“We’ve said you’ve got to be more of a glory seeker, stop passing the ball, shoot it,” Mount de Sales coach Trish Armstrong said.
The Sailors took a 56-53 lead with 1:07 on a 3-pointer by Sophia Gardenghi, who came off the bench and missed her first three attempts from long range.
“We needed another shooter in the game against the zone and she came in and that was a clutch shot,” Armstrong said.
Two free throws from Toronto Williams cut the deficit to one, 56-55, and set up the dramatic ending.
Walden’s final basket, before Wallace’s game-winner, gave her a game-high 27 points, which included an 8-for-9 performance from the free-throw line.
“She did bring us back and she played her heart out,” Miller said of the sophomore. “She’s had good games before, but I think this was her best game of the year.”
“We had scouted her [Walden] and we knew she was good, but she heated up today didn’t she,” Armstrong said. “We said we don’t care who is out there in transition, you stay with her.”
Mount de Sales freshman Shelby Lewis led the Sailors with 17 points and added eight rebounds and six steals. A 10-0 run late in the half helped Mount de Sales build a 30-23 halftime lead.
Wallace and Walden had conventional three-point plays and Jordan Harris collected several of her offensive rebounds in the second quarter. Harris finished with 16 rebounds, including 12 offensive boards, and added six steals and seven points.
Sailor senior Harper Eudy took advantage of the Saints’ 2-2-1 zone in the third quarter when she nailed three 3-pointers.
Trailing 45-41 after three quarters, the Saints clawed back in the fourth quarter thanks to seven free throws by Williams and three from Walden. The Sailors went 0-for-5 from the free-throw line in the final quarter and Lewis fouled out with 2:24 left, but Mount de Sales still prevailed.
“She’s definitely a key part of our team, but it was very exciting to see that we were able to get the win in the end,” Wallace said.
Mount de Sales 58
Shelby Lewis 17, Emma Wallace 13, Harper Eudy 9, Jordan Harris 7, Sophia Gardenghi 3, Caroline Sloop 2, MacKenzie Conley 2, Clara Gaigler 5.
St. Mary’s 57
Bailey Walden 27, Toronto Williams 10, Anna Ervin 6, Maya Morahan 7, Tara Haffelfinger 4, Kyra Obert 3.
Halftime: 30-23 MDS