The Institute of Notre Dame used a little luck and a lot of Kortni Webb to defeat Lake Clifton, 60-56, last night in the final opening-round game of the Holly & Hoops Women's Basketball Tournament at Essex Community College.
After Webb scored all of her game-high 18 points in a 13-minute span in the middle of the game, the Indians held off the No. 8 Lakers' furious fourth-quarter comeback attempt to preserve the win.
Notre Dame advances to tomorrow night's 9 p.m. Hoops division final against Bryn Mawr, a winner over Southern-AA in the other opening-round game.
The Indians (3-5) led, 58-45, with 6:00 left when the Lakers (4-3) rallied, scoring nine straight points to cut the lead to 58-54 with 1:25 left. But IND spread the court and controlled the ball for most of the last minute to thwart the comeback.
Shannon Skopp had 14 for IND. Celena Falline, who had just two points in the first half, led Lake Clifton with 15, and Tammy Lea added 11.
IND led from the start, reeling off 10 of the game's first 12 points, with Sharon Karaskavics and Skopp each scoring four.
Good defense and consistent foul shooting were the keys early on, as the Indians held the Lakers to 6-for-21 shooting in the first quarter and hit eight of nine free throws to gain an 18-15 lead after one quarter.
Lake Clifton, however, fought back, and took a 20-19 lead on a long jumper from Lakeisha Dukes 1:40 into the second quarter.
That's when Webb took over.
The sophomore scored on a rebound to break a 20-20 tie, then scored six straight points later in the half to give IND a 31-23 lead 1:02 before halftime.
Webb scored all 10 of her first-half points in the final six minutes of the second quarter.