HOLY FAMILY WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SUFFERS OVERTIME LOSS IN EAST REGION CHAMPIONSHIP
FITCHBURG, Mass. (March 15, 2010) - The Holy
Family University women’s basketball team’s 2009-10
season came to a close after a tough 82-79 overtime defeat to
Franklin Pierce University in the NCAA Division II East Region
Final on Monday night at Fitchburg State College.
Holy Family, the second seed in the region and ranked 16th in the USA Today/ESPN Division II Coaches Poll, concludes its season, the first under head coach Mark Miller, at 30-3 overall. It is the team’s seventh season with 30 or more wins. The Tigers made their seventh consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament and second trip to the East Region Final.
Senior forward Christine McCollum did all she could to extend her career for another game, pouring in a career-high 37 points on 14-of-20 shooting, including 4-of-7 from three point range, six rebounds and four assists. She finishes her career with 1,246 points (14th in Holy Family history), 911 rebounds (fourth), 300 assists (sixth), 168 steals (ninth), 146 made three-pointers (fourth) and 125 blocks (fourth). McCollum also did an admirable job guarding Franklin Pierce senior standout Johannah Leedham, holding her to 10 second half points on 3-for-7 shooting, which helped spearhead a second-half surge.
Junior forward Catherine Carr added 17 points, six rebounds and four assists. In three seasons, Carr already has 1,551 points (ninth in Holy Family history), 575 rebounds (seventh) and 246 assists (11th).
McCollum and Carr were both named to the East Region All-Tournament team.
Freshman forward Erin Mann contributed 11 points and five rebounds as a reserve to conclude her solid first experience in NCAA Tournament play.
Things didn’t look good for Holy Family in the first
minutes of the game, as the Tigers trailed 23-4 just over eight
minutes in. The Tigers fought hard and chipped away until junior
forward Meghan Gibson hit a lay-up at the 2:06 mark to tie the game
at 34. Franklin Pierce scored the final seven points of the half to
lead at the break, 41-34.
The Tigers played from behind until McCollum rattled off six consecutive points to give the team a 57-56 lead with 9:11 remaining in the second half. Franklin Pierce (31-1), the region’s top seed and the number two team in the nation, regained a five point lead (70-65) on a pair of free throws by forward Jewel White, who finished with 14 points, at the 3:27 mark.
Holy Family roared back with seven straight points, capped off by a Carr jumper, to move back in front 72-70 with 46 seconds on the clock. Leading 72-71 with 18 seconds left, Carr connected on one of her two free throw attempts to double the margin to 73-71. Three seconds later, Leedham hit two free throws to tie the game at 73. The Tigers had the final possession in regulation, but could not connect on its field-goal attempt.
In the overtime, Franklin Pierce jumped out to a 77-73 cushion in the opening minute. McCollum cut the gap to 77-76 by draining a trey with 2:05 left. The Raven lead grew to five (81-76) when guard Cynthia Gaudet hit two free throws with 27 to go. Once again, McCollum stepped up and pulled the Tigers within 81-79 with a three-point play. Down by three with the game’s final possession, Holy Family was unable to get a shot off.
Both teams shot the ball well from the field. Franklin Pierce shot 50.9 percent (27-of-53), while Holy Family hit 45.1 percent (32-of-71) of its attempts.