S. Carroll stops Howard despite late rally, 62-59 Lions fall to 3-1 after first loss

December 15, 1992|By John Harris III | John Harris III,Contributing Writer

Despite a furious fourth-quarter rally by Howard, South Carroll saddled the visiting Lions with their first loss of the season last night, 62-59.

Aggressive rebounding and scrappy defense allowed the hosts to pounce on Howard (3-1) early, and the Cavaliers (3-1) forged ahead by as much as 45-22 midway through the third quarter. However, it was a lack of the skills they used to grab their lead that nearly came back to haunt them.

From the beginning of the fourth quarter until a turnaround basket by Molly Cage with 1 minute, 30 seconds left made the score 59-53, Howard outscored South Carroll, 19-6, including four points in less than 30 seconds from forward Mona Jackson (12 points, 10 rebounds).

The Lions didn't quit there. Forward Emily Moore (17 points), scored on a follow-up, and Sharon Ford (13 points) scored on a layup with 13 seconds remaining to cut the South Carroll lead to 60-59.

Amber Clutter then sealed the game for the Cavaliers by making two free throws on an intentional foul by Ford.

"Tonight, I think we showed how young and inexperienced we are. We have to learn to make better decisions," said South Carroll coach Al Skierski.

"I couldn't have diagrammed a better first half, but we had some problems in the second. But you have to give it to the girls, they kept their composure. Everyone contributed."

The Cavaliers raced out to a quick 21-7 first-quarter lead, thanks to a 13-0 spurt in the last 3:28. Sophomore forward Melissa Gettemy (15 points, eight rebounds) paced the run with nine of her 10 first-half points, and sophomore center Nicole Spencer (10 points, 10 rebounds in the first half) added the remaining four. Spencer finished with a game-high 20 points and a game-high 22 rebounds.

The Lions failed to help their cause by going nearly five minutes without scoring a basket, as the Cavaliers' lead expanded to 27-7 on a bank shot inside the lane by Clutter 1 1/2 minutes into the second period.

A jumper by Moore cut the South Carroll lead to 30-15, but baskets by Spencer, Clutter and junior reserve forward Sara South built the halftime advantage to 36-18.

The Cavaliers maintained their double-figure lead through the third quarter, by outhustling their foes to the ball, enjoying a 14-6 rebounding advantage (45022 for the game).

But Howard started the fourth quarter with a tenacious full-court press, and quickly cut the lead to 51-41.

"You have to give them all the credit in the world. We didn't lose because we played bad, we lost because we played a good team," said Lions coach Craig O'Connell. "The shots that we usually make just weren't falling, they beat us up and down the floor, and we got beat on the boards."

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