White Pours in 25, Women’s Basketball Downs Pace, 78-68, in NCAA Championship East Regional Quarterfinal
Cowen adds 16, Giroud 15
Highlights courtesy Pack Network
Giroud put home 15 points in Friday night's NCAA East Regional quarterfinal win over Pace.
WALTHAM, Mass. (March 9, 2012) – Senior center Jewel White (Worcester, Mass.) led all players with both 25 points and 13 rebounds on Saturday night to lead the fifth-seeded Franklin Pierce University women's basketball team to a 78-68 win over fourth-seeded Pace in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championship East Regional, hosted by Bentley University at Dana Center. Senior forward Brittany Shields led Pace with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 20-9 and advances to meet top-seeded and No. 5 nationally ranked Bentley in the second East Regional semifinal at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night. Second-seeded Southern Connecticut State takes on sixth-seeded Holy Family in the first semifinal at 5 p.m. With the loss, Pace's season draws to a close at 20-9.
For the Ravens, Friday night's win avenged a 64-62 defeat at the hands of Pace in last season's East Regional quarterfinal. It gave the Ravens the 14th 20-win season in program history, as well as their fifth in a row.
Franklin Pierce scored the first eight points of the game right out of the gate on the way to opening with a 19-6 run over the opening 7:37. Senior guard Lekia Cowen (Hopedale, Mass.) and sophomore guard Kate McDonald (Fall River, Mass.) hit back-to-back threes to start the contest, and Cowen added a layup to finish the opening 8-0 spurt. Later in the run, White added five consecutive points, including a three-point play, while junior forward Amanda Saab (Windham, N.H.) capped the run with a three-pointer with 12:23 to play in the opening half.
The Ravens would push the lead as high as 21 on a layup by senior forward Marielle Giroud (Martigny, Switzerland), and again on a three-pointer by McDonald with 3:05 remaining before halftime. From there, Pace would close the half on an 11-4 run behind a pair of three-pointers by junior guard Allison Cleary to close the deficit to 40-26 at halftime.
At the intermission, White led the Ravens with 14 points, while Cowen was in double digits as well with 12. White nearly completed a double-double in the first half by hauling in seven rebounds, making her the only player with more than four in the period. Her final rebound of the half brought her to an even 1,000 for her career. White is the fourth player in school history to record 1,000 career rebounds, and the first to reach the milestone since Shelia Lindsey corralled a program-record 1,162 from 1984-88. Junior guard Tiffany Johnson (St. Albans, Vt.) dished out five assists in the opening 20 minutes.
For Pace in the first half, Cleary led the team with nine points, while both Cleary and freshman forward Brianna Harris collected four rebounds.
Coming out of halftime, the Ravens opened with six of the first eight points to run the lead to 46-29 on a layup by White just 2:31 into the half. Shortly thereafter, trailing by 16 at 48-32, Pace rattled off nine straight points to close the gap to 48-41 on a jumper by senior guard Carol Johnson with 13:36 to play in regulation. Franklin Pierce answered immediately with an 8-0 run of its own that included four points from sophomore guard Brittany Martelle (Brookfield, Conn.) to stretch the lead back to 15 at 56-41 with 9:10 to go.
Pace would make a final push in the last two minutes of the game, and twice closed the gap to four points, with both 1:58 and 38 seconds to play, but could never get any closer. The Ravens converted their final seven free throws down the stretch to come away with the 10-point victory.
White shot 9-for-14 from the floor and 7-for-7 from the free-throw line to pile up her 25 points on the way to her 21st double-double of the season, as well as her fifth in a row. Cowen added 16 points on 5-for-8 from the floor, while Giroud rounded out the Ravens in double digits with 15 points on 4-for-8 from the floor and 7-for-7 from the foul line. White was the only Franklin Pierce player to collect more than six rebounds, while Johnson finished the night with seven assists.
Shields led the way for Pace with 6-for-11 from the floor and 9-for-10 from the free-throw line on the way to her double-double. Joining her in double figures were senior guard Kerry White with 15 points on 6-for-12 from the floor and Johnson with 11 points on 2-for-11 from the field and 7-for-8 from the foul line. Shields corralled 10 rebounds, while no other Setter picked up more than five.
Franklin Pierce shot 27-for-54 from the floor (50.0%), 5-for-13 from three-point range (38.5%) and 19-for-21 from the foul line (90.5%) in the game. Pace finished 22-for-60 from the field (36.7%), 5-for-17 from behind the arc (29.4%) and 19-for-21 (90.5%) from the charity stripe.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics).