Westminster's free throws stop Thomas Johnson, 63-57

January 26, 1995|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Sun Staff Writer

The Westminster Owls knew they had a pretty good test on their hands last night after a determined Thomas Johnson team didn't scare from a patented Westminster run at the start of the third quarter.

The Owls passed -- including an "A" in free-throw shooting down the stretch -- by coming away with a 63-57 win over the visiting Patriots.

The No. 14 Owls (12-2) hit 7-for-8 free throws in the final minute to break a 56-56 tie.

Senior guard Cassandra Conklin (15 points) hit two after Thomas Johnson coach Chris Krivos was called for a technical foul for arguing a three-second violation.

The Owls got the ball back after Conklin made it 58-56 and senior Lauren Kadlubowski (18 points) was fouled five seconds later. Her two free throws gave the Owls a four-point lead and they didn't look back.

"The people came through at the foul line and that's what you need in a tight game," said Westminster coach Bernie Koontz. "I told the kids it could come down to who did the little things right down the stretch and they stepped up."

Thomas Johnson (8-6) took a 29-24 lead at the half largely behind the inside play of junior forward Judy Whims, who had 21 points.

The Owls went on a 7-0 run in the opening minute of the third quarter to claim a 31-29 lead and take away everything the Patriots built on in the first half.

Senior Beth Lister (19 points) followed her own shot on the Owls' opening possession to cut the Patriots' lead to 29-26; Kadlubowski tied it seconds later with a three-pointer off a Thomas Johnson turnover; and Lister gave the Owls a 31-29 lead with a short turn-around.

"We didn't finish very well in the first half and were allowing them some second shots," Koontz said. "In the second half, we did a better job on the boards and the run to start the third quarter pushed us ahead. But they came back after us."

The Patriots answered behind two baskets from junior Janie Marshall and seven points from Whims, along with seeing Lister get her fourth foul with 2:35 left in the third, to reclaim a 44-43 lead after three quarters.

Kadlubowski gave the Owls the lead back with an early basket, but Thomas Johnson answered with baskets from Whims and Patricia Higbee to take a 48-45 lead with 6:15 left.

Conklin hit a baseline jumper and then converted a three-point play, but the Owls still trailed 52-50 with 3:26 left. Kadlubowski hit a runner and added two free throws with 1:56 left to tie the score at 54.

After a Whims follow put Thomas Johnson up 56-54 with 1:15 left, sophomore Jill Ibex hit a baseline jumper to get the Owls even.

On the Patriots' next possession, the referee called the three-second violation and was quick to call Krivos for the technical. Krivos gave Westminster a lot of credit.

"They're a very good basketball team with a great transition game," he said. "We tried to get them out of their transition game by staying with ours. I think we tired a little when they got a second wind and really got us on the boards in the second half."

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