Women's Basketball: McDaniel proud of its showing against No. 2 CNU in tourney title game

Women's Basketball: McDaniel proud of its showing against No. 2 CNU in tourney title game
McDaniel's Liv Storer passes the ball against Christopher Newport in Saturday's championship game of the McDaniel Tip-Off Tournament at Gill Center. (Bill Ryan / For the Carroll County Times)

The final buzzer sounded just as Becky Martin rose from her chair on McDaniel’s side of the court, and the Green Terror coach clapped her hands and pumped a fist in the direction of her players while they stood and flashed smiles.

It’s a sight Terror women’s basketball fans usually don't witness after their team loses by 10 points on its home court. But when the No. 2-ranked team in the country comes to town in mid-November, and the underdog puts forth a solid showing, coaches and spectators share the same appreciation.


Christopher Newport won the McDaniel Tip-Off Tournament by beating the host Green Terror 71-61 on Saturday at Gill Center, but Martin said she was “elated” with how her team performed.

“I just told them that what I saw out there today was basically the McDaniel/Western Maryland tradition that has gotten us to championships and to the NCAA [tournament],” Martin said after she came out of the locker room following the game. “They just held their own with the No. 2 team in the nation, and we weren’t at 100 percent.”

McDaniel (1-2) took on the Captains without senior guard Jasmine Smith, who missed both Tip-Off tourney games because of a concussion.

McDaniel's Melanie Yeomans passes over Christopher Newport in Saturday's game at Gill Center.
McDaniel's Melanie Yeomans passes over Christopher Newport in Saturday's game at Gill Center. (Bill Ryan / For the Carroll County Times)

Liv Storer, a sophomore forward, filled in as the Terror’s go-to player on offense by scoring a game-high 25 points. And McDaniel’s defense forced Christopher Newport into 17 turnovers. But the Captains won the rebound battle, 48-38, and turned the Terror over 25 times in victory.

Still, Martin and her players took the game in stride and appreciated the chance to face such a quality opponent, one that led only by three points early in the fourth quarter.

“It just gives us such a big confidence boost going into the season,” said Storer, who also grabbed seven rebounds and two steals. “We know anyone in the Centennial Conference, that we can take it to them. If we can take it to Christopher Newport, than, to be honest, we can beat every team in the conference if we play like that.”

The Captains led 48-40 after three quarters — they closed the second quarter on an 18-4 run — before Caroline Ward, a freshman guard, made a 3-pointer on the Green Terror’s first possession of the fourth. Senior guard Libby Bowles followed a CNU miss with a jump shot of her own, cutting the Captains’ lead to 48-45.

Christopher Newport (3-0) then showed why it’s ranked among the country’s best — ranked second by, fourth by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association — by crafting a 12-2 run to increase the lead. A 3 from Jasmine Norman with 5:15 to play made it 63-47.

McDaniel tried to stay close and forced a few turnovers in the final minutes, but the visitors were too much despite only scoring six points in the third quarter.

Jasmine Bonivel had 13 points and 11 rebounds to lead CNU, and fellow forward Sam Porter added 12. Norman scored 10 and had seven rebounds. Christopher Newport went 14 for 17 from the free-throw line.

McDaniel was 15 for 23 — Storer missed five of her first eight free throws and went 11 for 16 — from the line, and missed 16 of its 20 3-point shots.

But tenacity on defense and cohesion on the court kept the Green Terror close.

They defeated Chatham in the tournament semifinals Friday night behind 17 points and six rebounds from Storer, who earned all-tournament honors, and outscored the Cougars 22-4 in the final quarter to pull away.

Martin had to have liked what she saw Friday, but the longtime coach was ecstatic Saturday afternoon.


“We had a tremendous team game, we took it to them,” Martin said. “This is theoretically, the best team we’re going to see all year. And we played our hearts out.”