OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Strong defense and balanced scoring led the Stevenson women's basketball team to a 57-46 victory over Cabrini College in the first round of the ECAC Division III Championship on Wednesday at Owings Mills Gymnasium.
With the win, Stevenson advances to the ECAC Division III quarterfinals where they will face fellow Middle Atlantic Conference member Misericordia University on Friday at 2:00 pm at top-seeded Carnegie Mellon.
Senior Sara Tarbert recorded her 28th straight double-double with 14 points and a career-high 25 rebounds. The current record holder for consecturive double-doubles in Division III, she is just one game shy of tying fourth place all-time in all three NCAA divisions for consecutive double-doubles. Her 25 rebounds are also a single-game school record, surpassing the previous record of 24 set by Nancy Zentz against Hood on November 25, 1997.
Stevenson (18-9) scored just 21 seconds into play as a steal by Ward resulted in a layup by freshman Crist on the other end. The hosts forced three turnovers and scored 11 unanswered to extend their lead. Five different Mustangs scored during the stretch.
After being held without a point for nearly seven minutes, Cabrini (16-13) was able to hit a layup to break its drought, but the Mustangs responded immediately with another steal and a three pointer by junior Kristine Tennyson. Trailing 16-2, the guests closed the period with three straight points, but Stevenson maintained control with a 16-5 lead.
Despite forcing three turnovers and recording a block, the hosts struggled to convert in the second period as the Cavaliers struck first just over two and a half minutes into the play. After a Stevenson timeout, Tennyson and Curry combined for six points to stretch the Mustangs' lead, 26-7, with three and a half minutes to play in the half.
The Cavaliers totaled three points over the next minute, but Crist erased it with a three pointer of her own, making it a 29-10 game at the half.
In the first half, Stevenson shot 38.7 percent from the floor while holding Cabrini to just 18.2 percent. The Mustangs held a 14-5 advantage in forced turnovers but the Cavaliers edged Stevenson on the boards, 20-17.
Tarbert hit a layup to open up scoring in the second half before Cabrini took a 5-0 run to cut its deficit to 16 points just over two minutes into play. The teams fought back and forth as the Cavaliers slowly chipped away at its deficit throughout the quarter. The guests were able to get as close as 10 points with 1:22 remaining in the period, but Tarbert scored the final bucket of the quarter as Stevenson held on to a 42-30 lead entering the final frame.
The Mustangs took a 6-1 run, led by four points from Ward, at the start of the fourth to take back the momentum and extend its lead. After being held without a basket from the field for over three and a half minutes, Cabrini's Nomi Washington hit a layup that sparked a 10-4 run for the guests to make it a 53-43 game with 56 seconds to play. It was not enough as the Mustangs went 4-4 from the foul line to maintain their lead and seal the win.
Stevenson finished 36.8 percent from the floor compared to 30.2 percent for Cabrini. The Cavaliers led 20-19 in forced turnovers but the Mustangs held a 42-40 advantage on the boards.
Head Coach Jackie Boswell talks about the team's ECAC Championship first round victory over Cabrini.
Stevenson Seniors Kameron Ward, Sara Tarbert and Niavanni Grant talk about tonight's game against Cabrini.