Buffalo, NY – The D'Youville women's basketball team won their sixth straight game on Wednesday evening, defeating the fifth seeded Mount Aloysius Mounties by the final score of 83-77 and advancing to the AMCC semifinals.
The two teams were tied at 4-4 nearly three minutes into the game, which would be the story of the first quarter. D'Youville and Mount Aloysius would remain tied at 6-6 and again at 8-8 before the Mounties would take a three-point lead with 2:41 to go in the first. Just over two minutes later the Spartans would get retake the lead at 14-13 on an Alexis Smith (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) layup. Aloysius would get their lead back on their next possession and end the the first with a 15-14 lead.
To begin the second, the Mounties would extend their lead to three. Ali Cochrane (New Port Richey, FL/Gulf) tied the game with a three on D'Youville's next possession. Shannon Dougherty (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) helped fight off an Aloysius push for the lead with back-to-back baskets and gave the Spartans a two-point lead.
A nine point run by D'Youville, highlighted by five points from Dougherty, pushed the Spartans to an 11-point lead with 4:04 to go in the half. Magan Magee (Ellenburg Center, NY/Northern Adirondack) added five points in the final 2:08 and D'Youville ended the half with a 39-31 lead.
Other than a Jean-Ann Korona (Washingtonville, NY/Washingtonville) made layup 0:09 into the half, D'Youville went scoreless for the nearly half of the third quarter. Mount Aloysius took the lead back for the first time since the first quarter on a three-pointer with 5:38 to go in the third. The Spartans would fight back to tie the game at 52 on a Danette Laguerre (Buffalo, NY/Hutch Tech) jumper and then Laguerre gave D'Youville the lead back with 0:01 left in the third and the Spartans headed into the fourth with a 56-55.
Mount Aloysius heated up from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter, taking the lead twice on threes after the Spartans tied the game. Korona hit two consecutive threes for D'Youville and gave the Spartans a 68-66 lead with 5:08 to go in the game.
After Smith tied the game at 69 and then gave her team the lead at 70-69 with 4:36 to go, the Mounties would do everything they could to get the lead back. With 1:14 remaining in the game, Mount Aloysius pulled to within two but Laguerre came in clutch from the line, making three free throws and extending D'Youville's lead to five. Aloysius held on as much as they could, but the Spartans held off the late charge and defeated the Mounties by the final score of 83-77.
"The key today was sticking together as a team," said Head Coach Dan Glover. "We have been getting stronger and closer as a team and that has correlated to our play on the court."
In her second game back from injury, senior Shannon Dougherty led the team in scoring with 17 points. Jean-Ann Korona was impressive on both ends of the court yet again with 16 points and eight rebounds, which led the team. Seniors Alexis Smith and Danette Laguerre each added 14 points. Smith chipped in with five rebounds while Laguerre brought in six rebounds and dished out five assists.
Dougherty's impact was huge for the Spartans who needed that extra push to get past the Mounties.
"She stuck to the plan, believed in the process and stepped up and helped us win a huge game," said Glover.
Freshmen Colleen Wirth (Elma, NY/Iroquois) and Magan Magee played big minutes as starters and were major contributors. Magee scored 10 points to go with five rebounds while Wirth scored seven points and added five assists and four rebounds. Darian Evans (Irving, NY/Lake Shore) had three rebounds and two points off the bench.
All five starters scored at least seven points and brought in four rebounds. Four of the five starters scored in double-figures and had at least two assists.
"We got in foul trouble and needed a spark early and we turned to our senior leadership," said Glover.
His seniors all scored in double figures and accounted for 45 combined points, while all three were within the top five in scoring.
The women move on to the AMCC semifinals on Saturday, February 27th. D'Youville will play the top seeded La Roche Redhawks at 1pm at La Roche.