Owls eliminated in GSAC semifinals
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Salem College cruised by UM-Presque Isle, 71-47, in Saturday’s Great South Athletic Conference women’s basketball semifinals.
With the win Salem moves on the play second seed Pine Manor with a bid to the NCAA National Tournament on the line.
The Owls finished the season at 18-7 and own one of the biggest turnarounds in NCAA Div. III basketball, with a 10-win improvement over last season.
Against Salem, with 11:13 left in the first half, UMPI was only down 14-10, despite missing four layups from point-blank range. The top-seeded Spirits held a convincing size advantage that would dominate the inside both offensively and defensively. In all, the Owls would miss 12 first-half layups that signaled doom for the Owl crew as they went into halftime down 42-18.
UMPI opened the second half on a 10-4 run in typical Owl style, having each of the five starters score baskets to make the score 46-28 with 13:40 remaining in the game, but Salem went on a 12-5 run over the next six minutes to stop any momentum the Owls had built.
Amanda Hotham led the Owls with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Darby Toth added 13 points and eight rebounds.
Satavia Taylor had 21 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots on the day. She had been named the GSAC Player of the Year the night before and scored her 1,000th point with her fifth basket of the game.
In the quarterfinals, the Owls received 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists from senior Olivia McNally to lead the way in a 65-53 victory over Agnes Scott College of Atlanta.
Despite giving up 13 first-half offensive rebounds to Agnes Scott, which led to 16 interior points, UMPI was able to open up a 36-21 halftime lead.
The second half Owl lead would balloon to as much as 19, before the game Scotties put on a late run to close the gap to 12.
Hotham scored 13 and grabbed seven boards, point guard Toth didn’t miss a shot in tallying nine points to go along with a tournament-high 11 assists and freshman Sydney Churchill added 11 points, including three three-point field goals.
The Scotties were led by Shavonne Orr, who had 18 points and seven rebounds.