Coach Kathleen Shannon and her John Carroll Patriots entered this season as one of the Catholic League's best-kept secrets. After yesterday's 52-47 upset win over visiting No. 1 St. Mary's, they won't be anymore.
The No. 9 Patriots (5-0) led 16-12 early in the second quarter, 26-25 at the half and pushed to their largest lead at 40-33 after Stephanie Brohy scored inside off a pass from Britney Whitehurst late in the third quarter.
Still, St. Mary's (4-1) had a chance to tie with a minute left to play.
Trailing 50-47 after forward Tiffany Schummer's layup, St. Mary's regained possession when Patriots' freshman guard Sarah Octavec was called for traveling. But consecutive misses by Emily Lipton and Jodie Davidson and a foul by Amy Mulligan gave the ball back to John Carroll, who sealed the win on a short jumper by Whitehurst with 24.7 seconds left.
"We have a well-balanced attack, they're confident, and I think this win convinces them they can play at the next level," said Shannon of her players. "The older players maintained their composure, and they helped the younger players get on track."
John Carroll (5-0) just had too much of Whitehurst and junior forward Jen Westervelt inside. Those two combined for 25 rebounds and gave the Patriots several second-chance opportunities down the stretch.
Westervelt led all scorers with 14 points. Whitehurst (12 points) grabbed 18 rebounds and scored four of Johns Carroll's final nine points, including a put-back that pushed the Patriots' lead to 50-45 with 2: 24 remaining.
St. Mary's was led by 13 points each from Schummer and Terri Daniels.
"I thought they were a good team coming in, and they beat us to death on the boards," said St. Mary's coach Harry Dobson. "We had an awful lot of chances, but we couldn't convert. I expected a better game from us tonight. Maybe this will be a wake-up call for us."
The only time St. Mary's led, 18-17, was with 4: 22 left in the second quarter, and that lasted just two minutes because the Saints failed numerous times to convert open baskets in transition.
The Saints also took themselves out of the game with 32 turnovers, and on two occasions went nearly three minutes without making a field goal. St. Mary's shot just 35 percent (20-for-57) from the floor for the game.
Pub Date: 12/19/96