The learning process for McDaniel College’s women’s basketball team continued Saturday with its home game against Haverford, one of the top squads in the Centennial Conference.
The Green Terror survived a dismal start on offense, settled in on defense, and built a nine-point lead late in the third quarter. They still led in the game’s final minute, but Haverford forced overtime and pulled away for a 54-47 victory at Gill Center.
McDaniel (3-6, 0-5 Centennial) held the Fords to their second lowest output in a conference game this season, and netted 12 points from 15 turnovers. But a few missteps down the stretch proved costly for the home team.
Part of the process, perhaps, for a Terror unit that started four seniors but is still coming together, said first-year coach Christin Gowan.
“We’ve got seniors who might not have been in this position before, or they were on teams that were in this position and they might have not been the ones on the floor,” Gowan said. “So [it’s] being able to protect that lead, take care of the ball, and somebody’s got to step up and be the guy. It can’t just be all the X’s and O’s, the drawn-up plays. Who’s going to be that charismatic leader that’s going to step up and take us to the next level?”
Senior guard Anna Mondoro took a turn by hitting three 3-pointers in the third quarter, which helped McDaniel craft a 37-28 lead. Mallory Conroy, a freshman forward, commanded the ball in the second quarter and scored 11 of her team-high 21 in the frame.
McDaniel led 45-40 with 1:40 to play after Mondoro drove the lane and scored off the glass, but the Fords (8-2, 5-0) had answers — Kayla Robinson connected on Haverford’s next possession, and the Terror committed a crucial turnover in trying to beat a press going the other way.
Julianna Clark found a spot in the left corner and canned a 3-pointer with 38 seconds to play that tied the score at 45-45.
McDaniel missed at the other end, and Haverford nearly won it in regulation — Clark hit a 16-footer at the buzzer, but the officials used video replay to determine the ball was still in her hands after time expired.
Haverford re-grouped in a hurry, however, and outscored McDaniel 9-2 in overtime to come out on top. The Green Terror missed five of six field goals in the extra period.
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Senior guard Anna-Sophia Capizzi led the Fords with 19 points (she had 15 in the second half), and Clark finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.
“We have such a young team,” said Terror senior guard Jamese Word, who scored her team’s only OT points. “So it’s important for them to be in this position so that they’re not going to make the mistakes we as seniors are making right now. We seniors can clean it up as the season progresses.”
Liv Storer and Emily Metzger, both seniors, had five rebounds apiece for the Terror, and Storer added three assists. Conroy came up with four of her team’s nine steals.
McDaniel finished with 21 turnovers, though, and shot 4-for-23 from 3-point range (0-for-10 in the first half).
McDaniel opened its Centennial slate Nov. 20 against Gettysburg (9-1, 5-0) and held its own against the Bullets. The Green Terror have since dropped conference games against Johns Hopkins, Dickinson, and Ursinus, which comes to Gill Center on Tuesday for the second meeting of the regular season.
Gowan said the Terror are close to breaking through in games such as Saturday’s.
“We’re going to get more than one of these games once we pull it together,” the coach said. “We’ve played four of the top five teams in the conference so far. The 0-5 start, it’s discouraging. But we’re looking at the strength of our schedule ... we’re learning from these games.”