Garnet Overcome Tait's Historic Night for 73-65 Win
CHESTERTOWN, MD -- Washington College senior guard Meghan Tait (Oxford, PA/Oxford Area) recorded the second triple-double in team history and seventh in Centennial Conference women's basketball history, but it was not enough as the host Shorewomen fell to visiting Swarthmore, 73-65, tonight inside Cain Athletic Center. The Garnet (4-4, 2-3 Centennial) got a game-high 21 points and nine rebounds from Elle Larsen in the win, while Tait finished with 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists for the Shorewomen (2-4, 1-4).
The Shorewomen held a 16-point lead with just over four minutes left in the first half and a 32-17 lead with just over three minutes to play before the Garnet went on a quick 12-0 run to close the gap to 32-29 on a pair of free throws by Elle Larsen with 37 seconds remaining. Tait nailed a three-pointer on the Shorewomen's next possession to break the run, but a jumper by Larsen with nine seconds to go made the score 35-31 in favor of Washington at the intermission. The Garnet converted their final six field goal attempts of the first half.
Swarthmore opened the second half on a 12-4 run to take a 43-39 lead on a Nicole Rizzo jumper with 15:29 to play. Washington scored the next four points to briefly even the game at 43-43 before Swarthmore pulled ahead on a jumper by Madeline Ross on the next possession. Washington scored the next seven points and 10 of the next 12 to build a six-point cushion on a basket and free throw by senior guard Sally O'Donnell (Cape May Court House, NJ/Wildwood Catholic) with 10:09 remaining.
The Garnet then went on a decisive 13-2 run to surge ahead, 60-55, on a Larsen lay-up with 5:56 to go. After the Shorewomen twice cut the lead down to one possession, Ross converted a lay-up for a 64-59 Swarthmore advantage with 3:20 to play. Sophomore guard Kelly Mitchell (Laurel, MD/Academy of the Holy Cross) rattled home a three-pointer for Washington with 2:09 left to trim the lead to four points, but Kayla Moritzky answered with a triple of her own on the other end to give the Garnet a 69-62 advantage with 1:41 left. The Garnet led by at least five points the rest of the way.
Tait's 10th assist, which completed her triple-double performance, came on a three-pointer by O'Donnell with 36 seconds on the clock. The only other triple-double in team history was recorded by Karen Sieger in a 55-43 win at Swarthmore on January 29, 1995. Sieger had 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 steals in that victory. The most recent triple-double by a Centennial Conference women's basketball player prior to tonight was a 13-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist effort by Muhlenberg's Kelly McKeon against Ursinus on February 21, 2009. Tait's 13 rebounds and 10 assists were both game highs tonight.
Larsen was joined in double figures in scoring for the Garnet by Ross, Moritzky, and Katie Lytle. Ross came off the bench to score 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting. Lytle had a double-double with 11 points and a game-best 12 rebounds, while Moritzky scored 11 points and dished out a team-high six assists.
O'Donnell scored 20 points to lead the Shorewomen in scoring, shooting 7-for-18 from the field, including a 4-for-7 performance from beyond the arc. Mitchell added 11 points for Washington, while sophomore forward Latisha Pledger (Chesapeake, VA/Indian River) just missed a double-double with eight points and 10 boards.
Swarthmore shot 48% from the field in the game, while Washington shot 33%. The Shorewomen did hold a 42-37 advantage on the boards.
The Shorewomen return to action Saturday with a 2:00 p.m. non-conference home game against Goucher.