St. Mary's holds off Annapolis upset bid, 75-63

December 21, 1993|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

When St. Mary's needed someone to step forward and make the crucial baskets in the fourth quarter of last night's game at Annapolis, Annetta Davis answered the call.

So did Bridget Smith. And Kris Miller.

Those three players accounted for all 24 of their team's points in the last quarter, and No. 6 St. Mary's held off a strong upset bid from the Panthers to win, 75-63.

Davis finished with a game-high 35 points -- including 10 in the fourth quarter -- and 16 rebounds. Smith scored 14 points, and Miller added 11.

St. Mary's helped itself at the line, making 21 of 27 free throws. Davis was 11-for-14 and made her last seven.

Shannon Henderson led Annapolis with 28 points and 15 rebounds. Cristi Samaras added 15 points, and Janelle Queen had 10.

The Panthers have lost four of their five games under first-year coach Dave Griffith, including three in a row. Their only victory came against winless Glen Burnie, 66-33.

They began the year ranked No. 8 in the metro area, but fell out of The Baltimore Sun's Top 20 this week. However, yesterday's effort was their best so far, and it gave Griffith reason to be optimistic about the remainder of the season.

"I'm not upset in the least," he said. "I said in the beginning that our first five games were our toughest. I don't know any other team that's played Old Mill, Severna Park and St. Mary's in a row. I think tonight's the turnaround. I think now, we're ready to play some ball."

The Panthers picked a tough team to work out their problems. St. Mary's (5-2) is the winner of three straight. But the Panthers never trailed by more than six points in the first half, and a layup by Samaras and two free throws by Janelle Queen left them behind 37-36 at intermission.

Henderson opened the third quarter by scoring in the lane to give the Panthers a 38-37 lead, and they were ahead 49-48 until Davis converted a three-point play with three seconds left. Annapolis moved back in front 53-51 early in the fourth quarter, but Davis later scored inside for a 56-54 Saints lead, and Smith followed with a three-point shot.

Miller then hit from the baseline, giving St. Mary's a 61-54 lead with 3:45 left. Annapolis crept within five points, 65-60, but could get no closer.

"The school was closed today and I don't know if the kids slept all day, but our heads were not on basketball," said St. Mary's coach Harry Dobson, trying to explain what he considered to be a lackluster performance from his team. "We lucked one out."

"I think we surprised St. Mary's," Griffith said. "All I heard was how St. Mary's was going to romp over us and beat us by 30 or 40 points, and that wasn't the case."

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