Nothing much has changed for Ashlee Courter since Marymount University's drive to the NCAA Division III final four last March.
The 5-foot-10 senior forward from Mercy High is still something of a magician with the basketball in her hands, and will go down as one of the most complete players in the history of the Arlington, Va., school.
"She has four eyes in her head, two in the front and two in the back," said Marymount coach Bill Finney. "And they're all 20-20."
And Courter is again in the midst of a strong final-four charge, much wiser for the experience she gained last season in an 80-57 loss to a physical Wisconsin-Stevens Point team in the national semifinals.
"We want to put a hurting on someone like Wisconsin-Stevens Point did on us," Courter said. "Our defense is much stronger than last year, and we have much more all-around scoring ability."
Courter and the Saints (23-6) have reached the Sweet 16, where they will meet Messiah (Pa.) College at 6 p.m. Friday at the University of Rochester (N.Y.).
"Ashlee's the same player she was last season," Finney said. "She's been playing great. She had a super offensive rebound and put-back all in one motion in our last game [second-round 83-80 victory over Rutgers-Camden]."
Courter is averaging 13.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and a team-leading 3.8 assists, as well as shooting 74.7 percent from the free-throw line. She leads the Capital Athletic Conference with a 1.40 assist-to-turnover ratio, is third in assists and sixth in scoring (second on the team). She was a first-team All-CAC choice.
If there has been one game that has stood out for Courter and Marymount on their path to the Sweet 16, it was a convincing 72-48 victory over Salisbury and Amy Campion, the nation's second-leading Division III scorer, in the CAC tournament championship.
"That was a pretty unbelievable score," Courter said. "I know we surprised a lot of people."
Brown is champ
Ohio State junior hurdler Joel Brown is headed to the University of Arkansas this weekend for the NCAA indoor track and field championships after capturing the Big Ten 60-meter hurdles championship in 7.80 seconds.
Brown (Woodlawn) also finished fourth in the 200 (21.60) in the Big Ten championships for the 12th-ranked Buckeyes. He is unbeaten this season in the 60 and is considered one of the favorites in the NCAAs.
Lipton, Tech await bid
Virginia Tech starting senior point guard Emily Lipton (St. Mary's) and her teammates will be eagerly awaiting a possible bid to the NCAA women's basketball tournament Sunday.
The Hokies (21-9) were beaten by No. 1 Connecticut, 71-54, Monday night in the semifinals of the Big East tournament, with Lipton playing 16 minutes and contributing three steals, one assist and no points in the 70th straight victory for the Huskies.
Lipton is second on the team in assists (82), has 25 steals, and is averaging 2.8 points and 1.5 rebounds. She has an 82-to-59 assist-to-turnover ratio, is shooting 37.8 percent from the field and 22.9 percent from three-point range, and averages 22.6 minutes.
Freshman right-hander Kelley Tiesi (Catholic) went the distance on the mound last week for Shippensburg University in an eight-inning 3-2 victory over Longwood College.
It was the collegiate debut for Tiesi, who allowed three hits, struck out six and walked three.
Two former Mount Hebron High lacrosse players, junior Katie Jeschke and freshman Liz FrandM-i, had award-winning season-opening performances for the Penn State women's lacrosse team in a 12-11 victory over Vanderbilt. Jeschke scored four goals on five shots and was chosen the American Lacrosse Conference Player of the Week, and FrandM-i was selected the National Rookie of the Week after forcing four turnovers and picking up three ground balls.
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