Statesmen Fall to Grand View in Last-Second Rally
Oskaloosa–The William Penn women’s basketball team needed Saturday’s win badly , but just could not finish off its late rally in losing 82-81 to Grand View in its Midwest Collegiate Conference finale Saturday.
The Statesmen (11-17, 3-9 MCC) setback was detrimental to their postseason seeding as they will enter the MCC Tournament as the lowest seed (#7). The squad, which found out earlier in the week it had to forfeit its January 22 win over Viterbo, lost the coin-flip tiebreaker to the V-Hawks for the #6 seed. Therefore, the navy and gold will now have to travel to Dubuque Thursday to face second-seeded Clarke at 7 p.m. WPU has lost both times this year to the Crusaders, 84-78 on January 20 and 80-68 on February 8.
Thursday’s other first-round matchups feature #3 Mount Mercy vs. #6 Viterbo in Cedar Rapids and #4 Grand View vs. #5 AIB in Des Moines. Top-seeded St. Ambrose receives a first-round bye.
Saturday’s matchup, which was also Senior Day, included 12 lead changes and seven ties. The Vikings (12-13, 5-7 MCC) stormed out to a 12-4 advantage, but the hosts came back with eight in a row. GVU went back ahead for several minutes, but WPU had the last first-half say and led 41-39 at intermission.
The score seesawed in the second period with the visitors owning the largest margin of six at 72-66 with 6:50 on the clock. William Penn then tore off seven straight to grab its second-to-last lead. The sides exchanged buckets, but the Vikings took the advantage for good at 76-75 with 4:25 remaining. Four more points put GVU up 80-75 before the Statesmen slowly chipped away.
The hosts narrowed the deficit to one at 80-79 and then again to one at 82-81 with one minute to go. Neither program was able to add to its tally in the final minute however. The visitors pulled down two offensive rebounds and held possession for most of the final minute, until Dani Stahle (Sr., South Weber, Utah, History/Government & Psychology) finally gathered a defensive board with 16 ticks left.
Stahle was the perfect player to have the ball at the end, having 35 points on 12-for-14 shooting (11-for-11 FT). Unfortunately, she could not get off a clear shot and had to dish it to Alyssa Phillips (Fr., Gurnee, Ill., Communications) who was fouled on a shot attempt with one second left. Grand View tried to freeze Phillips and it worked. The Vikings called timeouts twice before the first unsuccessful try and once more before the second was missed. Grand View pulled down the loose ball off the second free throw to secure the win.
William Penn was terrific from the floor, outshooting GVU 53.4%-47.7%. The hosts were not as wonderful on the glass, however, with a 37-28 disadvantage, including 10-3 on the offensive end which led to a 10-3 GVU scoring edge in second-chance points. The Statesmen finished 16-for-25 at the line, while the Vikings were 15-for-19.
WPU countered that with four fewer turnovers (11-15), good for a 19-11 edge in points off errors.
In addition to Stahle’s 35 points, Jessie Kreuser (Jr., Mendota Heights, Minn., Undecided) just missed a double-double with 20 points and nine rebounds. Katie Golomski (Jr., Milwaukee, Wis., Psychology & Sociology), with eight points, and Susan Smith (Sr., Eugene, Ore., Biology), with seven, also contributed offensively. Both players assisted on four buckets each.
The MCC Tournament bracket can be found at http://www.midwestcollegiateconference.com/d/2014_WBB_Bracket.pdf