Kelly Scores 23, Mustangs Fall to Lebanon Valley in Conference Semifinals
ANNVILLE, Pa. - Led by double doubles by Caitlin Bach and Kiely Chaklos, top-seeded Lebanon Valley posted a 70-60 victory over the fourth-seeded Stevenson women's basketball team in the Commonwealth Conference women's basketball semifinals Wednesday at LVC Gymnasium.
With the win, the Dutchmen (21-5) will advance to their seventh-straight Commonwealth Conference championship game when they will try to win their fourth-straight title against third-seeded Messiah, Saturday, March 1.
Lebanon Valley jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the first 4:13 of the game. However, the Mustangs (14-13) used a 7-0 run capped off by a three-pointer by sophomore Stephanie Martinez to give the team their lone lead of the game at 9-8.
Like much of the game, the Dutchmen hit big shots at the right time, responding with a three-pointer of their own to reclaim the lead just 15 seconds later.
A layup by junior Kyarra Harmon cut Stevenson's deficit back to one, but Lebanon Valley went on a 13-4 run to end the half. The Dutchmen led 28-16 at the break.
The Mustangs shot just 25.0 percent in the first half compared to 42.3 percent for the Dutchmen who also had a 27-14 advantage in rebounds.
Stevenson scored the first four points of the second half on layups by juniors Kayla Kelly and Ty Bender to cut the teams deficit to eight. However, Lebanon Valley scored back-to-back buckets of their own to give the Dutchmen their largest lead at 13.
The Mustangs cut the deficit to five at 35-30 with 12:50 remaining following a layup by Kelly but the Dutchmen responded with seven-straight points to push their lead back to double digits.
A layup by Bender cut Stevenson's deficit back to five 4:26 later but Taylor Umbrell hit a three-pointer down the other end to stop the Mustangs momentum.
Stevenson would get as close as seven following two free throws by junior Kayleigh Guzek but the Dutchmen went 7-for-8 from the free throw line over the final 1:54.
Lebanon Valley, who ranks first in the conference in free throw percentage, went to the free throw line 33 times, one shy of their season-high. The Dutchmen finished the game 72.7 percent from the line while the Mustangs shot a season low 36.8 percent.
The Dutchmen scored 17 second chance points and 26 points in the paint.
Kelly led all scorers with 23 points, marking the fourth time this season she has scored at least 20 points. She also added six rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Lebanon Valley had five players in double figures, led by Bach and Chaklos who combined for 33 points and 21 rebounds.
Stevenson will await selections for the 2014 ECAC South Division III Women's Basketball Championship which will be released Monday, March 3 at 5:00 p.m.